The LOTR Movie Site
October 2, 2000

Silly Questions Can Have Real Answers
Stacy B.

In response to the Lady of the Golden Woods, the "silly question" of who is the hero of the Lord of the Rings was initially asked by those silly poll masters. It was, in fact, the sheer ridiculousness of the question that actually started the debate, but since then, I think we've moved beyond this to ask what exactly it is that makes each of those many characters a hero (or not a hero, whichever). That, to my mind, is not a silly question, and the fact that so many people are responding indicates to me that there is a real issue here. Each of us harbors a certain idea of heroism, and  we look for an expression of that idea not only in our fantasy lives but also (and perhaps in vain) in the real world. And that matters far more than who we define as the hero of LOTR, though our choices in that area help us to identify our particular definition of heroism.

I can think of few debates more worthy of an epic like the Lord of the Rings than the question of what constitutes a hero. This is the story, after all, where each character, having found the expression of his own idea of heroism in another, can say along with Frodo of at least one other person, "I am glad that you are here with me, at the end of all things."