“Is Frodo a victim or not?”
I asked my son this question the other day. He waited for a while, and then he said, “The only way I can say that he is a victim is by saying that he is a victim of his own destiny.” For those of you who do not know the Lord of the Rings, the book or the movie, Frodo is one of the main characters in the story.
“But can any of us be victims of our destiny?” I continued.
After another pause, my son said, “No, not really. After all, he was ‘meant’ to find the Ring. This was his call.”
So I pushed further: “If you consider The Lord of the Rings, which of the characters is a victim?”
A longer pause.
“What do you think of Boromir?” I said.
“Hmmm… Because he wants to take the Ring…” my son said. “But then he confesses, so perhaps he is redeemed.” And now my son no longer stops: “But in this case we are all potential victims because we could all take the Ring of power for ourselves. And Frodo was almost a victim; and Sam. And the only real victim is Smeagol, who is overtaken by the Ring, and loses himself in Gollum. And even Smeagol could have been redeemed. There is always a chance that you can come back. And if you’re a victim, you can only be your own victim.”
I think my son just applied Solzhenitsyn to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings:
“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either–but right through every human heart–and through all human hearts.”