POV – Frodo
In which Merry makes a mess, Esmie makes a move, Bargo makes a fuss, Rory makes a point, and Frodo makes a very big mistake.
We finally get Frodo’s perspective on the tangled family relations of Brandy Hall. And kind of wish we hadn’t…
Why would someone who has been abused want to remain in that situation? Because it is familiar. Because the known brutality may be less frightening than unknown opportunity. Because an internal voice may tell you that you have done something to deserve what you are getting, or may give you ideas that make you angry or revolted with yourself.
Notes I wrote in a forum thread back in 2003 when I first published this chapter:
This was a very difficult chapter to write because I have two characters whom I love dearly acting in ways that I don’t want to see, yet which are consistent with their characters. In particular, it was hard to show Rory’s shortcomings in such a brutal way. Rory does not have Bilbo’s self-control or imagination – he is frightened by things that challenge his way of seeing the world. In chapter 9, you’ll get a better picture of what is going on in Rory’s mind such that this would be a reasonable reaction for him. But it really hurt to write this, and it hurt even more to write chapter 9.
Frodo is courageous in a very stubborn, ordinary way. This is one of his great virtues and is what, along with his compassion, allowed him to achieve what he did on the Quest. Something that surprised me a good deal as I wrote OMY was how forgiving Frodo can be, even at this young and self-centered age, even when being treated quite badly. He is far more judgmental of himself than he is of those around him. But sometimes, his indignation at injustice bubbles over and he shoots his mouth off.
Frodo is in a bit of an in-between situation in OMY. He is slowly becoming attached to Bilbo (though it is complicated and confusing for him to sort out his feelings, and some of his less appropriate feelings leave him frightened), but he is not able to let go of his very strong attachments to Rory and Gilda. He has lost his parents before, and strongly resists losing parental figures again. He definitely resents being handed about by his elders.
One thing that was important for me to explore was how annoying Bilbo would be to live with. Bilbo in large doses is not necessarily a good thing. Much of OMY is Bilbo and Frodo accepting that they do not automatically love or even like each other, that they have to understand each other better and work towards caring for each other. One interesting thing was to see how Frodo was unconsciously copying Bilbo’s actions and mirroring Bilbo’s opinions.
Thank you for reading,