This is topic Out of character statement from Frodo? in forum Lord of the Rings at Minas Tirith Forums.

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Posted by silver0163 (Citizen # 69) on :
At the end of Journey in the Dark in the Fellowship (I think, I don't have my book handy) Frodo says "He is dead then. I feared it was so." regarding Balin. This has always seems very strange to me for a few reasons. One, this doesn't seem like the kind of thing Frodo would be concerned with or think about at all. and two, Frodo doesn't talk like this. This seems more like something Gandalf or Aragorn, or possibly Gimli would say. What are your thoughts?
Posted by Estel (Citizen # 336) on :
Frodo was not the same hobbit that left the Shire. The ring changed him into a different hobbit. Perhaps that is the reason such comments were made?

This message has been edited by Estel on 06-08-2001 at

Posted by Plover Sandheaver (Citizen # 642) on :
i totally get what you mean. it "I feared it was so." sounds like something Gandalf would say. After all, he was a part of the original Company from the Hobbit, and probably spent many hard days and nights with Balin.

Frodo, on the other hand, only mentioned knowing him from when he would visit Bilbo.

somehow it almost seems as if Tolkien just wanted to end the chapter.

'Cram, it does the body good. Pass it on.'


Posted by strider_68 (Citizen # 639) on :
It seems that Frodo might have become sort of attached to Balin through Bilbo and his stories. It may have seemed to him more like losing an old friend than hearing of the death of a hero you know little about.
Posted by Mel (Citizen # 445) on :
It seemed to kind of fit to me. It just sounded right, I don't know why.

Such good will should not be denied

Posted by Aragorn_croatia (Citizen # 492) on :
I never thought of it as out of character statement.
Posted by Mandin (Citizen # 415) on :
Neither have I. And the stories told by Bilbo having an effect of Frodo make sense also.
Posted by Bungo (Citizen # 278) on :
"You get like the people you live with"

Maybe after all those days in Rivendell, plus weeks of travelling together, his speech patterns would start to mirror his companions. After years in Asia, I talk weird now too. When I go back to Canada people look at me funny when I say "No need." or "It's a must."

It would be more natural by then for Frodo to say "I feared it so," rather than "Bless me!"

Cool question though! I never thought of that before!

Anta ilya lyaa nyeere na Eru, ten ro varya an lyë

1 Karkawe 5:7

Posted by Meneldil (Citizen # 417) on :
I think it was the ring that had changed him.
Posted by Nimruzir (Citizen # 248) on :
RE: One, this doesn't seem like the kind of thing Frodo would be concerned with or think about at all. and two, Frodo doesn't talk like this. This seems more like something Gandalf or Aragorn, or possibly Gimli would say. What are your thoughts?
Ok. Since you asked...

I believe this is a comment from Bilbo concerning his good friend Balin.

I will note that AFAIK, Bilbo wrote a fair portion of LOTR (story internal).

Fellowship of the Ring:
'We can have many a good talk. What about helping me with my book and making a start on the next?'

Fellowship of the Ring:
For a while the Hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead.'

Fellowship of the Ring:
'Then Bilbo would read passages from his book (which still seemed very incomplete) or scraps of his verses, or would take notes of Frodo's adventures.'

Fellowship of the Ring:
'I'll do my best to finish my book before you return. I should like to write the second book, if I am spared.'

Return of the King:
The Tale of the Great Ring, complied by Bilbo Baggins from his own observations and the accounts of his friends.'

I note that this last quote also states 'Here Bilbo's hand ended and Frodo had Written...'

But this is in regard to the title page, and since this is the 'Red Book' which consists of 81 chapters (LOTR AND The Hobbit combined - The Grey Havens had yet to be penned by Sam) obviously Bilbo's hand did not 'stop' there.

I suggest, in all probability, (much as the good Prof. himself did), that Bilbo's 'hand' stopped at the tomb of Balin in Moria, since the 'majority' of text still remained to be written in Frodo's hand.

Bilbo seemed to lose interest shortly after the story was being told, when the companions returned to Rivendell and seemingly did not complete the rest.

You did ask...

Sínome Endor maruvan ar hildinya tenn'ambar-metta

This message has been edited by Nimruzir on 06-09-2001 at

Posted by Thorin (Citizen # 816) on :
I love multi-year bumps. [] Where's Snowdog, the King of Old Bumps, when you need him?

Anyway, this statement by Nimruzir rather caught me off guard. We know Bilbo wrote the Hobbit. We know Frodo finished the Lord of the Rings. I had always assumed that Bilbo stopped writing at the end of The Council of Elrond or after the first couple passages of The Ring Goes South. Frodo then started the writing of his portion the story, which continued until The Grey Havens, when Sam took over. The Appendixes were probably done by Sam and / or Merry, with some information from Pippin. (Note: I have no real basis for this besides hints - it's just what I always thought.)

I suggest, in all probability, (much as the good Prof. himself did), that Bilbo's 'hand' stopped at the tomb of Balin in Moria, since the 'majority' of text still remained to be written in Frodo's hand.
Is this just Nimruzir's guess, or am I missing some other evidence? When he says something, he typically has a good reason for saying it.

[ 04-02-2004, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: Thorin ]
Posted by Wandering Tuor (Citizen # 1685) on :
The parenthetical makes it sounds like Tolkien mentioned something about this - I tried a word-search of Letters, but couldn't find anything.

In the Foreword, of course, he says:
In spite of the darkness of the next five years I found that the story could not now be wholly abandoned, and I plodded on, mostly by night, till I stood by Balin's tomb in Moria. There I halted for a long while. It was almost a year later when I went on . . .

[ 04-02-2004, 10:09 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]
Posted by Cernunnos (Citizen # 652) on :
Were you, indeed, searcing for something to bump, Thorin?

You seem to have delved deep into the past to find this old chestnut.
Posted by Thorin (Citizen # 816) on :
Go look in The Hobbit, Cern. I just found my very first post here. []
Posted by Singollo of Doriath (Citizen # 2718) on :
How funny... I have always thought that quote was out of character for Frodo, but I thought I was alone in thinking that.

Btw... my first post was in a trivia thread, where I posed a question without having guessed one correctly. Eöl the Dark Elf guided me nicely through that brief newbieness... []
Posted by Neytari Took-Baggins (Citizen # 490) on :
Neat thread...I like surmising who wrote what exactly...

My first post was a "Hullo!" thread in the LotR forum under a totally non-Tolkienesk name. But these were nicer times and no one flamed me. At all.
Posted by Thorin (Citizen # 816) on :
Off Topic: That's a good point, WT. It's a strange coincidence: Tolkien wrote till Balin's tomb then took a long break. Bilbo writes till Balin's tomb then Frodo takes over. I'm beginning to tear my hair out, though. Nimruzir doesn't make off-the-cuff statements. I still think that there must be something other than what he posted that made him think that. I'm going to check The History of The Lord of the Rings a bit closer.

On Topic: I personally always thought that Frodo's statement was because he knew Bilbo would be devastated by the news.
Posted by Miz Lobelia (Citizen # 1612) on :
'And what has become of Balin and Ori and Óin?' asked Frodo.

A shadow passed over Glóin's face. 'We do not know,' he answered. 'It is largely on account of Balin that I have come to ask the advice of those that dwell in Rivendell.'

' dwarf has dared to pass the doors of Khazad-dûm for many lives of kings, save Thrór only and he perished. At last, however, Balin listened to the whispers, and resolved to go; and though Dáin did not give leave willingly, he took with him Ori and Óin and many of our folk, and they went away south.

'That was nigh on thirty years ago. For a while we had news and it seemed good: messages reported that Moria had been entered and a great work begin there. Then there was silence, and no word has ever come from Moria since.'

Frodo knew, or knew of, Balin well enough to ask about him at the banquet at Rivendell, and Glóin's answer there and his words at the Council did not bode well for my favorite TH dwarf (pace, Thorin [] ). Plus, with that preparation, he has trekked through Moria for several days without seeing one sign of Balin's party until now - I can't imagine that this would have failed to be on the minds of any of the party as the passage progressed. Frodo's words seemed perfectly natural to me.
Posted by Eryndil (Citizen # 3905) on :
Frodo's words seemed perfectly natural to me
And to me.
Bilbo was an optimistic character, Frodo the more serious and ready to think of the darker side of things, hence his mental preparation for finding Balin dead.

Also, would not Bilbo have said more of what a tragedy the loss of his friend was?
Posted by Aranel89 (Citizen # 4502) on :
I think Jackson did good in making the phrase a line of Gandlafs, because as your said, it doesn't seem that Frodo would be much concerved with whether Balin was dead or alive... []
Posted by Mad Uncle Rupert (Citizen # 1148) on :
Can't buy that. It seems possible that Frodo might have actually met Balin in his youth, and probably heard many times the tale of Lonely Mountain. Bilbo, to me, seemed close to Balin, and at the least this association would mean much to Frodo.
Posted by Herendil (Citizen # 1494) on :
Was not Gandalf a friend of Balin too? He seems surprisingly emotionless during the scene.
Posted by Aranel Charis (Citizen # 2061) on :
Gandalf could have been thinking about how to get the fellowship out of Moria and not end up the same way Balin did (ie: dead).

I think it's fine that only Frodo says something. Balin was the dwarf that liked Bilbo the most in the Hobbit, so Bilbo had to have told Frodo about him. Bilbo also had visitors in the Shire after the events of the Hobbit, why not some of the dwarves?

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