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Old 04-12-2006, 02:32 PM   #1
Tuor in Gondolin
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Pipe Greatest hobbit deeds/actions

How about some consideration, and eventual comparative
discussion and listing of notable hobbit brave or notable deeds?
Some witness multiple contributors and some might rate lower
then might be thought, for example, here's one
beginning selective list.

1-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo
2-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo
3-The Bullroarer kills an orc defending The Shire
4-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar
5-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation
6-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring
7-Frodo defies the nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen
8-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
9-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders
10-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale
11-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone
12-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella
13-Frodo finally (with "assistance" from Boromir) decides to go to Mordor
14-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm
15-Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring
16-Rosie has numerous children
17-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
18-Pippin kills a troll
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:27 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if the list was meant to go in order....

17-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
I find this situation to be very interesting. At first, Fatty feels that the Old Forest is "quite as dangerous as Black Riders". He had not encountered Black Riders with Frodo, Sam and Pippin nor has he been in the Old Forest only scared by the bogey-stories told by his nurses.

He stays behind to keep up pretense that Frodo is still there and to give Gandalf the message of where the company went to, but Fatty also stays because he had no desire to leave the Shire.

On the same night as Frodo and company meet up with Strider at the Prancing Pony, Fatty meets up with some of the Black Riders. He saw them creep in the garden and he ran more than a mile to the nearest home to (finally) raise an alarm.

I personally think that even though Fatty is fond of Frodo, had he really known how dangerous and scary Black Riders were, he would not have even stayed at the Crickhollow house to keep up pretenses or to give Gandalf the message.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:36 PM   #3
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I mean no offense, but having numerous children isn't really something to make you that great. In that instance, I would place Rosie at the end of the list, if not taking her off completely.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The 1,000 Reader
I mean no offense, but having numerous children isn't really something to make you that great.
It does and it doesn't . Anyone knows how much time, energy, finances one child sucks out of parents leaving them emotionally, physically, and mentally drained let alone 13, also the flipside of feelings of love, enjoyment and fulfillment.

But I actually agree with The 1,000 Reader that having 13 children alone doesn't make a person great. I have four and that doesn't make me stupendous.

I think what makes Rosie great is what isn't written. Rosie falls into the category of a great woman behind a great man. This is pure specualtion but I don't think I'm wrong when I say Rosie supported Sam 100% in his political career, Sam is the type of man if he didn't have Rosie's support or if she didn't want him to he would not have been mayor for so many terms.

Rosie should stay on the list but there is more to her than children.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:51 AM   #5
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Pipe

The list is theoretically in order of "merit", and
to some extent of a humorus nature. Taking
comments into account:


1-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo
2-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo
3-The Bullroarer kills an orc defending The Shire
4-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar
5-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation
6-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring
7-Frodo defies the nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen
8-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
9-Rosie has numerous children and emotionally supports Samwise
10-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders
11-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale
12-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone
13-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella
14-Frodo finally (with "assistance" from Boromir) decides to go to Mordor
15-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm
16-Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring
17-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
18-Pippin kills a troll

Any additions/subtractions/alterations in such a list to make?
I'm actually unsure as to #1 and #2 shouldn't be flipflopped,
given that Bilbo barely surrendered the Ring with Gandalf's
help and Sam gave it up while figuratively in the shadow of Mount Doom.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:55 AM   #6
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And why on earth is Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring not at the very top? Saving the world is pretty pedestrian; Frodo managed to be the only Hobbit ever to break the mould and achieve a Turinesque, almost Feanorian moment of hubris and grandeur...
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:03 AM   #7
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Because he failed. A failure (granted it apparently would have
been a failure for anyone) isn't an achievement. But
it will be bumped up.

1-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo
2-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo
3-The Bullroarer kills an orc defending The Shire
4-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar
5-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation
6-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring
7-Frodo defies the nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen
8-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
9-Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring
10-Rosie has numerous children and emotionally supports Samwise
11-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders
12-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale
13-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone
14-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella
15-Frodo finally (with "assistance" from Boromir) decides to go to Mordor
16-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm
17-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
18-Pippin kills a troll
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #8
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Maybe not great as in woohoo, but important: Deagol going fishing?

Whoops, nevermind....
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:27 AM   #9
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Just remembered the Hobbit archers that fought against Angmar.
Sure, their effect was slim to none, but a valiant deed this was.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:38 AM   #10
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I don't know about Rosie's place on this list.
Quote:
I think what makes Rosie great is what isn't written. Rosie falls into the category of a great woman behind a great man. This is pure specualtion but I don't think I'm wrong when I say Rosie supported Sam 100% in his political career, Sam is the type of man if he didn't have Rosie's support or if she didn't want him to he would not have been mayor for so many terms.
Sam was Mayor...his task was to preside at banquets, hardly a 'political career'. I would think Rosie's relationship to that 'career' would more be one of tolerance.

And I think Pippin's defeat of a troll in the terror and darkness of Mordor, far from home and in service of a larger cause, when he thought he was giving his life in the attempt, was a far greater dead than Bullroarer killing a simple Orc in defense of his own home.
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:00 AM   #11
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How about these changes? And while, on reflection, Gollum's
actions to regain the Ring were also failures, like Frodo's
to destroy it, as an effort , JRRT viewed it as impressive.
(In Letters # 181)
Quote:
His [Gollum's] marvellous courage and endurance, as great as Frodo's and Sam's or greater, being directed to evil was portentous, but not honorable...
1-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo
2-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo
3-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar
4-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation
5-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring
6-Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring
7-Frodo defies the nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen
8-The Bullroarer kills an orc while he's defending The Shire
9-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
10-Pippin kills a troll outside the Iron Gates
11-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders
12-Rosie has numerous children and emotionally supports Samwise
13-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale
14-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone
15. Rumor has it hobbit archers helped out against Angmar
16-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella
17-Frodo finally (with "assistance" from Boromir) decides to go to Mordor
18-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm
19-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
8-The Bullroarer kills an orc while he's defending The Shire
To be fair, that rather understates the achievement. He led a band of Hobbit militia which routed a Goblin raiding party. And beheaded their chieftain. And invented golf.

OK, perhaps move him down the list for that last one ...
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
6-Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring
I actually disagree with this, and I would place it at least 2nd, because Sam giving the Ring back to Frodo is hard to top, that was truly heroic. But, the reason I think this should be bumped up is because Frodo didn't fail.

Sure, he failed his personal test of not being able to drop the ring into the Fire, but he didn't fail in destroying the Ring. Frodo's quest was to destroy the ring, he didn't personally have to destroy it, all that needed done was the Ring to be destroyed and Frodo made that happen.

With intervening from Eru the Ring is destroyed, but the incredible deed is Frodo GETTING it to Mount Doom. He failed his test, but the quest succeeded the Ring was destroyed and what Frodo goes through to get to Mount Doom is absolutely amazing.

1st, he's told by Gandalf to get the Ring to Rivendell. Easy enough right...well Frodo gets worried because Gandalf hasn't come back yet, so him and his buds decide they need to set out and plan this big conspiracy to get Frodo out. Here we see Frodo willingly coming up with what he has to do, which is get the Ring to Rivendell, even if Gandalf didn't tell him it's ok to go yet, .

2nd, Just by getting the Ring to Rivendell, going through all them obstacles.

3rd, taking it upon himself to destroy the Ring. Yet again, he willingly puts the whole fate of Middle-earth on his shoulders and says he's going to take it to Mordor. No easy thing for a little hobbit. He puts aside his own comfort and safety back at home, to go on this epic quest.

4th, Gets the ring to Mount Doom and this is the most amazing of all. He bears a wound by the Witch-King, a wound by Shelob, the weight and influence of the Ring, and with his best bud Sam (who I know Frodo couldn't have done it without Sam) he gets the Ring to Mount Doom and gets it destroyed. He personally doesn't destroy it, but he succeeds in the Quest which was to destroy the Ring.

What Frodo goes through and triumphs over is incredible, and at the very least should be #2. Forget the fact that he personally didn't destroy it, that would have made him a demi-god, because no one could have done it, but look at what he did to GET the Ring destroyed. Simply amazing.
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:02 AM   #14
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As Captain Kirk might observe:
Quote:
As always, logical, Mr. Boromir.
And, as Gollum's efforts also failed, one should put
heroic efforts for good above that for evil, and
Bilbo did have help with his ring effort, so:

1-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo
2-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar
3-Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring
4-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo
5-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation
6-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring
7-Frodo defies the nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen
8-The Bullroarer kills an orc while he's defending The Shire
9-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
10-Pippin kills a troll outside the Iron Gates
11-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders
12-Rosie has numerous children and emotionally supports Samwise
13-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale
14-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone
15. Rumor has it hobbit archers helped out against Angmar
16-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella
17-Frodo finally (with "assistance" from Boromir) decides to go to Mordor
18-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm
19-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:53 PM   #15
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Thankyou for the kindness Captain...can I beam you up now?

Anway, I found this which goes along which fits in with the Frodo ordeal. Tolkien said that Frodo failed as a hero, but morally he did not fail. What Frodo did was set an impossible goal for himself, and when you set impossible goals you fail. But, what Frodo did do was amazing in itself...getting the Ring to Mount Doom, while being starved, bearing a great weight/pain, and the influence of the Ring, where the ultimate goal in the end was acheived.
Quote:
"Frodo indeed ‘failed’ as a hero, as conceived by simple minds: he did not endure to the end; he gave in, ratted. I do not say ‘simple minds’ with contempt: they often see with clarity the simple truth and the absolute ideal to which effort must be directed, even if it is unattainable. Their weakness, however, is twofold. They do not perceive the complexity of any given situation in Time, in which an absolute ideal is enmeshed. They tend to forget that strange element in the World that we call Pity or Mercy, which is also an absolute requirement in moral judgement (since it is Present in the Divine nature). In its highest exercise it belongs to God. For finite judges of imperfect knowledge it must lead to the use of two different scales of ‘morality’. To ourselves we must present the absolute ideal without compromise, for we do not know our own limits of natural strength (+grace), and if we do not aim at the highest we shall certainly fall short of the utmost that we could achieve. To others, in any case of which we know enough to make a judgement, we must apply a scale tempered by ‘mercy’: that is, since we can with good will do this without the bias inevitable in judgements of ourselves, we must estimate the limits of another's strength and weigh this against the force of particular circumstances.*

I do not think that Frodo’s was a moral failure. At the last moment the pressure of the Ring would reach its maximum - impossible, I should have said, for any one to resist, certainly after long possession, months of increasing torment, and when starved and exhausted. Frodo had done what he could and spent himself completely (as an instrument of Providence) and had produced a situation in which the object of his quest could be achieved. His humility (with which he began) and his sufferings were justly rewarded by the highest honour; and his exercise of patience and mercy towards Gollum gained him Mercy: his failure was redressed.

We are finite creatures with absolute limitations upon the powers of our soul-body structure in either action or endurance. Moral failure can only be asserted, I think, when a man's effort or endurance falls short of his limits, and the blame decreases as that limit is closer approached.~Letter 246
So, taking this Letter by Tolkien into consideration, I'm content with it being number 3
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:59 PM   #16
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I would go further, Boro.

It seems to me that Frodo's amazing act of courage, selflesness and endurance was the single most important act ever achieved by a Hobbit in Middle-earth. He may not have been able to destroy the Ring when it came to it but (discounting Tom Bombadil) no one else could have done it either. The very fact that got the Ring to Mount Zoom - er - sorry - Doom was an incredible achievement in itself. The burden and effort involved in carrying it there was probably more than enough to overcome most. And it was through the kindness and pity that he had shown towards Gollum that the Ring was ultimately able to be destroyed.

He may have failed to willingly destroy the Ring. But I would rather put a positive "spin" on it and say that he succeeded in his Quest.

The achievements of Sam and Merry should not be underestimated, I agree. But they are surely superseded by Frodo's achievement. While Sam certainly contributed, it was Frodo who was able, through his endeavours, to bring about the circumstances whereby the Ring could be destroyed. And, in doing so, he saved the entirety of Middle-earth from falling under Sauron's thrall.
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:47 PM   #17
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Okay, a change. A tie for second is now declared.
But still to be answered is, can a failure (however noble)
be declared an achievement? Perhaps.
(And if the Bullroarer hadn't inadvertendly invented
golf he'd probably be up at # 5).
And how come Fatty Bolger gets no respect- you know what I mean!

1-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo
2-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar
2-Frodo's failed effort to destroy the Ring
4-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo
5-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation
6-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring
7-Frodo defies the nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen
8-The Bullroarer kills an orc while he's defending The Shire
9-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
10-Pippin kills a troll outside the Iron Gates
11-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders
12-Rosie has numerous children and emotionally supports Samwise
13-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale
14-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone
15. Rumor has it hobbit archers helped out against Angmar
16-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella
17-Frodo finally (with "assistance" from Boromir) decides to go to Mordor
18-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm
19-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:59 PM   #18
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When you say "greatest", though, what exactly do you mean? The ones that took the most skill? The most courage? The most effort? The most determination? A combination of those things? Or the ones that contributed most to the "cause" of Middle-earth (loosely, I suppose, Eru's plan)?

If the latter, Gollum and Deagol's "achievements" would surely rate the lowest. And we should include Smeagol's part in the destruction of the Ring since, though not intentionally done, it nevertheless contributed to the "cause".

Taking a combination of those things, but bearing in mind the morality of the tale, I would rate them as follows (with some new ones added):

1-Frodo brings about the destruction of the Ring - See comments above.
2-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar - Immense courage, overcame great fear and an important contribution.
3-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo - It was not in Sam's nature to keep it, but it must nevertheless have taken an immense effort, being as he was in Mordor at the time.
4-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation - Rated higher than giving up the Ring as he did not know the nature of the Ring and was "assisted" by Gandalf, whereas knowingly facing a Dragon must have taken a lot of courage.
5-Frodo defies the Nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen - No mean achievement given the shape that he was in.
6-Frodo decides to go to Mordor alone - Would you have wanted to do that? Bormoir or no Boromir it was a selfless and courageous decision. Even moreso, in fact, given that he had witnessed first hand the Ring's effect on Boromir.
7-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo - See under 4. above.
8-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders - They were spiders, for goodness sake. And he was hardly a seasoned campaigner at this point.
9-Samwise rescues Frodo from Cirith Ungol - Worthy of mention, and a high rating, I think.
10-Frodo agrees to take the Ring to Mordor - I don't think he fully realised what he was getting himself into. But he knew something of the nature of the Ring, and he agreed to do so before he knew that the other eight members of the Fellowship would be accompanying him.
11-Pippin kills a troll outside the Iron Gates - Killing a Troll is no mean feat for a young Hobbit. And he saved Gimli's life and nearly died in the effort.
12-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale - He betrayed his companions. A difficult choice, but a wise one, and the right one.
13-Merry, Pippin and Sam organise the resistance to Sharkey's men - They saved the Shire, and all on their own (leadership-wise) this time.
14-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella - Quite a feat for an old lady armed only with an umbrella.
15-The Bullroarer oversees the rout a Goblin raiding party and beheads their Chieftain - He ends up lower than I expected. But he had an army on his side, and Goblins just don't compare with Nazgul, Trolls, Dragons and Giant Spiders. And let's just forget the golf thing.
16-The Hobbit Archers join the struggle against Angmar - A collective effort, rather than an individual performance, so not quite on a par with some of the others. But brave, nonetheless.
17-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm - Not an inherently dangerous task, but one which showed resourcefulness and involved a great deal of discomfort.
18-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail - As has been said, he didn't realise the implications of what he had agreed to do. It would have been braver to go with the others. But raising the alarm was a smart move.
19-Bilbo enters a riddle contest with Gollum in the darkness of the Misty Mountains - I would rate it higher, but he did cheat.
20-Pippin looks into the Palantir - He was a fool of a Took to do it, but it had important consequences.
21-Gollum falls into the Crack of Doom with the Ring - Not intentionally done, but it saved Middle-earth.
22-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone - The deed was already done. The courage was in taking the Arkenstone. Once he did that, he had to face the consequences.
23-Rosie has numerous children and emotionally supports Samwise - Impressive. But hardly extraordinary. Sorry.
24-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring - OK, so it showed great determination and resourcefulness. But it was selfishly motivated, and I cannot really credit that.
25-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin - An act that had far-reaching consequences. But it hardly involved much input on Deagol's part. The Ring wanted to be found, anyway.

I am sure that there are more that could be added - there must be other Hobbit deeds greater than Deagol finding the Ring. I would have added Frodo's pity for Gollum, but I count that as part of 1.

Reviewing the list, it seems that I tend to favour courageous acts on the part of Hobbits. But I think the consequnces of the acts and the effort involved are important to consider too.

PS - Thought of another one. Sam confronting and defeating Shelob. I would put it at number 6 or 7 on the list above. She was the spawn of Ungoliant, for goodness sake.
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:08 AM   #19
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Well done by SpM. #13, 19, and 20 are interesting additions,
especially # 13. Anyone have any others?
There seem to be two main considerations to such a topic and
list: the events/actions themselves, and what are the natures of qualifying
events.
Quote:
When you say "greatest", though, what exactly do you mean? The ones that took the most skill? The most courage? The most effort? The most determination? A combination of those things? Or the ones that contributed most to the "cause" of Middle-earth (loosely, I suppose, Eru's plan)?
I was originally probably thinking of a definition including having a
"positive" "successful" outcome, although even that definition is
tricky. A "successful" outcome for Gollum, or even Deagol, would have
been a retention of the ring. And as to another hobbit "great"
achievement, what about the matriarch of Smeagol's clan expelling
him from the group? Other actions by her via-via Smeagol
would (albeit probably inadvertently) have changed the tale of the ring
if not the eventual outcome.

The broader definition of "greatest" is probably the better one,
although you have to be careful of making a definition too broad to be useful.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:38 PM   #20
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Hmm... this looks like an interesting thread.

But I would definately put Sam's fighting Shelob on that list.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:44 PM   #21
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Interesting thread!

I think that the Conspiracy should be given some more praise. Pippin and Merry especially - even after the conspiracy business, in Rivendell, knowing what they are facing, they refuse to leave Frodo.

Another great accomplishment, that may be considered a semi-failure, but is great nonetheles, is the awakening of Smeagol in Gollum. Frodo brings out the last good in him when all others fail. It was not his fault that in the end Gollum himself decided to turn to his old ways.

I think Rosie is a great person because she waited a long time for Sam and never lost hope.

Pippin looking into the Palantir deserves to be higher on the list. He resisted Sauron - SAURON - with all his might, for as long as he could.

I think Farmer Cotton should also be on the list, for calmly and bravely facing the Ruffians and Shirrifs during the rebellion, and for quietly but firmly breaking the Rules before the rebellion.

What about Maggot and the Gaffer? They were both questioned by a Nazgul, and unlike Harry in Bree they were quite courageous.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauce
Reviewing the list, it seems that I tend to favour courageous acts on the part of Hobbits.
Hm. I seem to favour the subtle ones more, courageous or not.

PS: I think Sam deserves to be reeeeally high on the list for all those times when he was torn apart, and chose to stick with Frodo. And for just always being there for him. He almost drowned for Frodo!
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:29 PM   #22
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May I suggest Sam's battle with Shelob and Frodo's struggle against The Barrow-wight..
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:24 PM   #23
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Here's a rating, incorporating some suggestions. feel free to amend it.
Who would have thought hobbits were so courageous (other then Gandalf, that is )

1-Sam Gives the Ring back to Frodo
2-Frodo's efforts to destroy the Ring
3-Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo
4-Bilbo goes down the tunnel to first Smaug confrontation
5-Gollum's epic efforts to regain the Ring
6-Pippin looks into the Palantir
7-Sam fights Shelob
8-Frodo defies the nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen
9-The Bullroarer kills an orc while he's defending The Shire
10-Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's Realm
11-Pippin kills a troll outside the Iron Gates
12-Bilbo saves the dwarves from the giant spiders
13-Rosie has numerous children and emotionally supports Samwise
14-Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the elves and men of Dale
15-Farmer Cotton
16-Merry helps slay the Witchking of Angmar
17-Maggot and the Gaffer are not cowed in questioning by the nazgul
18-Bilbo returns to Erebor after giving up the Arkenstone
19-Lobelia confronts Sharkey's gang with her umbrella
20-The Hobbit Archers join the struggle against Angmar
21-Frodo finally (with "assistance" from Boromir) decides to go to Mordor
22-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
23-Fatty Bolger stays behind to cover Frodo's trail
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:14 PM   #24
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No one's mentioned the courage of male Hobbits in marrying women with such hairy feet? Or the patience of Hobbit women in cooking meals for their husbands every two hours?

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22-Deagol finds the Ring in the Anduin
I wouldn't count that as particularly brave, though it certainly was a noteworthy deed, attributable to "luck" though it was.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:17 PM   #25
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I wouldn't count that as particularly brave, though it certainly was a noteworthy deed, attributable to "luck" though it was.
I think it's more of a great deed on the Rings part than Deagol's.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:35 PM   #26
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Why is it of greater significance that Sam gives the ring back to Frodo, than Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo?
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne View Post
Why is it of greater significance that Sam gives the ring back to Frodo, than Bilbo leaves the Ring for Frodo?
It's a good question Rune, on the one hand Bilbo held it the longest of the three, on the other Sam held it closer to Mordor where it was excerting more power to corrupt...... so who showed more willpower in giving it up?
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:37 AM   #28
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It's a good question Rune, on the one hand Bilbo held it the longest of the three, on the other Sam held it closer to Mordor where it was excerting more power to corrupt...... so who showed more willpower in giving it up?
Also, Bilbo had the help of Gandalf. But Sam was giving it to Frodo, to whom he was ready to give his life.

Personally, I think Bilbo did a greater thing. Firstly, he was the first ever to give away the Ring without physical strength involved. Secondly, Sam was only "borrowing" the Ring, and he took it with the assumption that it's still Frodo's, the "rightful" ringbearers. Bilbo was, in a sense, the Ringbearer. He should be compared to Frodo, not Sam. But in Frodo's case, there are too many factors like proximity to Modor involved. In his case, it really plays a differenre.

It's the difference of giving back and giving away.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #29
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None of them.

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Old 08-27-2013, 12:47 AM   #30
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If I may revive an old thread...

I have my own ideas about the order of importance of the great hobbit deeds... I ordered them by what I believe took the greatest courage and strength of character in each of the given circumstances. Accordingly, there are some things left off from the previous lists. I also tried to limit the list, because while there are many great hobbit deeds worth mentioning not all fall into the category of brave or notable deeds, which was the original topic.

1 - Frodo's efforts to destroy the ring. - Easily the most notable hobbit deed of all time and requiring the greatest strength of character.
2 - Bilbo surrenders the ring before leaving Bag End. - Bilbo may not have known what the ring was, but he used to wear it for weeks at a time--its hold on him was very great.
3 - Sam's efforts to help Frodo destroy the ring. - I think the Bible says it best, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends," and Sam knew well that the quest was likely to end in death.
4 - Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to the men of Dale. - To do what one believes is right when it may cost them everything, especially high-standing in the minds of others, is a quality rarely found anymore in the world.
5 - Sam rescues Frodo from Cirith Ungol. - Sam chooses love and friendship over all fear and the pull of the ring, and braves the tower.
6 - Bilbo rescues the dwarves from giant spiders. - Risking his life for dwarves who still don't think him all that worth their time, and doing part of it without invisibility.
7 - Merry helps slay the Witch-king of Angmar. - An act of great courage despite his knowledge of the great personal risk.
8 - Pippin slays a troll outside Morannon. - Just like Merry (and interchangeable I think in ranking) an act of great courage despite the risk to his own life.
9 - Bilbo confronts Smaug. - Facing a dragon alone requires a lot of courage and character, but not as much as if one didn't have a magic ring.
10 - Sam defeats Shelob. - Taking on this giant spider requires great courage, but not perhaps as much courage as others would need to complete the task--I think it's fair to argue Sam is the most courageous hobbit in history.
11 - The hobbits take back the Shire from Saruman. - A group effort so not as high on the list, and probably seeming like nothing after everything else they had been through. But still notable and courageous.
12 - Bilbo gets the dwarves out of Thranduil's realm. - Perhaps deserving of a higher place on the list, but we know by now of Bilbo's propensity to pop his ring on and disappear if danger was near to him.
13 - Bandobras Took slays Golfimbul at the Battle of Greenfields. - Orcs are quite frightening whether you are a halfling or one of the big-folk. But he was four foot five and had a horse.
14 - Frodo decides to go to Mordor alone. - At this point Frodo had some idea of what he was getting into so it was a very brave decision, but he didn't yet know the great weight the ring would become.
15 - The hobbits continue on the quest after their encounter with the barrow-wights. - A new one, and last on my list. For the four hobbits to be willing to strike out on their own without Tom Bombadil after near-death is quite notable and brave, but they still were very innocent.

Now you may ask...why didn't I include Sam giving the ring back to Frodo? Or Lobelia confronting Saruman, or Frodo defying the Nazgul, or any of the other things previously mentioned? Well...

In the case of Sam returning the ring, I believe he had already made that choice in his heart before he had even found Frodo. His heart was not with the ring but with his friend, and that wasn't going to change. Which is also why I might argue that Sam has the greater strength of character between the two of them, but that's another topic.
Other items I left off were either because they made the list too long and were about the same level of courage and character as other things (much like Merry's and Pippin's individual deeds). And then there were other deeds that were noteworthy but not falling into the categories of brave, courageous or requiring strength of character. Some in fact are mere historical facts or instances of happenstance rather than requiring any character strength on the parts of the hobbits (such as Gollum's accidentally falling into the Cracks of Doom with the ring).

That said, there is one such deed in hobbit history I wanted to bring up because I find it is often forgotten: Marcho and Blanco get permission from Argeleb II to cross the Brandywine and begin settling the Shire. It may not necessarily be courageous or even notable outside that it is the beginning of recorded hobbit history, but without them it can be safely said our dear hobbits of the Shire wouldn't even exist!

So that is my list. A humble noob, I welcome your comments!
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:19 AM   #31
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I agree with you completely on number 1, but would bump 3 up to 2.

I wonder if Lobelia should appear somewhere, for standing up to Sharkey's men ... and perhaps a little for her redemption at the end.

I would say the Taming of Smeagol was a very praiseworthy deed, too - even if its motives were mixed, compassion and finding a way to control Gollum (and hence try not to jeopardise the Quest) without killing him were pretty high among them.

Good point about Marcho and Blanco.

Quote:
9 - Bilbo confronts Smaug. - Facing a dragon alone requires a lot of courage and character, but not as much as if one didn't have a magic ring.
I thought of this before seeing it in the list - or rather, going on alone down the tunnel to find Smaug there. Tolkien states in the book that that is the bravest thing Bilbo ever did.
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Old 10-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #32
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I think when the Hobbits took back Hobbiton from the invaders after Saruman lost his station was pretty brave.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:50 PM   #33
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How about Frodo and the Barrow Wights? Gandalf singled it out even ahead of his encounter with the nazgul on weathertop. It was the first biggest test that Frodo went through, on his own and with no guidance from anyone at that stage.

Definitely agree that despite his final failure, Frodo just getting the Ring to mount doom was a huge achievement, given that he was going through mental torture the whole way through mordor.
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