It’s been almost 20 years since Peter Jackson’s seminal Lord of the Rings trilogy came to an end, and no journey back to Middle-earth has ever been quite the same. Sure, the first movie in The Hobbit trilogy is pretty great, and Rings of Power… exists. But, mostly, fans of Tolkien’s writing are best off revisiting Jackson’s films for the definitive Middle-earth experience.
And make no mistake: they do. Lord of the Rings fans (ourselves included) have been rewatching the trilogy on a loop for years upon years now. And it’s because of this that a very specific fact has been uncovered about Frodo: the kind of fact that you would only notice if you’ve spent too much time religiously going through the Lord of the Rings movies in order. The Hobbit falls down an absurd amount of times.
“How many times?” We hear you ask. Well, it depends on where you look. Lord of the Rings Totals has it at 17, while LOTRScrapBook suggests it’s a whopping 39 times. Lord of the Rings cast lead Elijah Wood really didn’t have it easy. Commenting on the piece of trivia on Reddit, fans weren’t too impressed.
“Frodo’s typical strategy in a fight? Fall down backwards and drop your sword. He even does it when fighting Sam in Two Towers,” commented one user, while another chipped in to proclaim that Frodo was an, “extremely unlikeable character.” Harsh, right?
To be fair to Frodo, we’d challenge anyone to traverse across the width of Middle-earth without the occasional slip. He travels through marshes, volcanic plains, and the lair of a giant spider, as well as over mountains and under mountains along his journey, all while carrying the burden of the One Ring. It’s not always easy, being a Hobbit!
Having said that, once you do notice Frodo’s near-constant falling over, it’s hard to unsee it. It starts early on, with the first major slip coming in The Prancing Pony in Bree as he rushes to stop Pippin from revealing his identity. From then onwards, he just can’t stop: he falls over in the snow just before Boromir picks up the rings, he falls over after being punctured by a cave troll in Moria, and he falls down the slope near the Black Gate.
Given how often it occurs then, we have to believe that it was intentional by director Peter Jackson, whose eye for detail turned the trilogy into three of the best fantasy movies ever made (and best movies, period). After all, Frodo does have an immense weight bearing down on him, and Tolkien explains in the book that the weight of the One Ring becomes increasingly difficult to bear as Frodo gets closer to Mordor, sapping his will and stamina.
You also have to remember that Frodo isn’t some renowned warrior like Boromoir, Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli. He’s an ordinary Hobbit who takes on responsibility beyond any expectation. Of course, he gets beaten in fights and makes the occasional slip. It’s what makes him special as the leading Lord of the Rings character: he’s not extraordinary.
And that is, after all, Tolkien’s message. Even the most unsuspecting, unlikely of people can make a difference. Whether or not they fall over is a bit less important than that.
For more Lord of the Rings fun, check out our guide to the new Lord of the Rings movies and learn about the War of the Rohirrim release date. If that’s not enough, find out why the extended editions aren’t long enough, and see our guide to all the new movies coming out for the rest of the year.