There aren’t many more famous bands of heroes than the Fellowship of the Ring, those keepers of the One Ring in Tolkien’s Middle Earth saga. After the movies came out this group became even more famous, so I wanted to look at them and see what their motivations were for embarking on the quest to dispose of the Ring.
Frodo feels an obligation. He understands that the quest is serious and he agrees after some discussion that he is the right one to carry the Ring. Frodo’s strength is an inner strength, represented by his small size. He is the opposite of Superman or Beowulf who are large, physically strong heroes.
Sam‘s loyalty to his friend Frodo is what sends him on the journey. He doesn’t have to think twice about going; if Frodo is going, Sam is going. This sense of duty in Sam and his optimism are key factors in the success of the adventure.
Merry and Pippin are also loyal to Frodo, but to a lesser degree than Sam. They join the group partially because they like adventure and don’t want to be left out.
Gandalf knows the importance of the task at hand. Perhaps more than anyone else he knows that this is a quest to save the world. His role as mentor to half of the group is an important aspect of his membership of the Fellowship. This mentoring comes from his ability to be genuine with people of all backgrounds.
Aragorn has a destiny to fulfil. Whether he admits to it or not, he knows that he is king and has an obligation to the people of Middle Earth.
Boromir wants to ensure the safety of his country, Gondor. He believes the Ring is the only way to do so and he goes with the Fellowship to make sure the Ring doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Legolas knows the character of Aragorn and agrees to help protect Frodo on his quest after Aragorn does so. He becomes the repesentative of the elves, as Elrond had said the fate of the Ring affects all the races of Middle Earth.
Gimli‘s intentions are a little more vague. I can guess that he joins the Fellowship just to make sure the elf doesn’t ruin things, such is the animosity between the two races.
So, which intentions are heroic? Do intentions make the hero? What do you think?