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10 Smartest Decisions In Lord Of The Rings

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The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the best in all of cinema. Spanning three films, the story follows Frodo Baggins as he journeys to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. With the help of the Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo succeeds in his task after a long, physically demanding journey. However, the victory over the evil Sauron did not come easy.


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Many difficult decisions had to be made along the way, some of which changed Middle-Earth forever. Many Lord of the Rings characters made smart decisions that resulted in the triumphant defeat of evil and brought Middle-Earth out of darkness.

10/10 Frodo Was Trusted With The One Ring

Frodo came into possession of the One Ring when his uncle, Bilbo Baggins, gave it to him. Frodo tried to pass the ring off to the iconic Gandalf and Galadriel, but he was unsuccessful. When the Fellowship were debating who should take the ring to Mordor, Frodo surprisingly volunteers.

Since Frodo was a Hobbit, it was wise for him to carry the ring for a few reasons. Firstly, people would not suspect the most important item in all of Middle-Earth to be in the hands of a Hobbit. Having Frodo carry the ring also eliminated the risk of Frodo becoming consumed by the ring and trying to get it back from a new carrier, a tragedy that befell Sméagol before him.

9/10 Gandalf’s Sacrifice Gave The Fellowship Time To Escape

While the Fellowship escaped the Mines of Moria, they crossed paths with a Balrog. Gandalf stepped between the Fellowship and the Balrog and famously said, “you shall not pass!” before breaking the bridge. Unfortunately, the Balrog pulled Gandalf with him down the darkness of the chasm.

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Gandalf’s sacrifice gave the Fellowship time to escape the mines and outrun the Orcs chasing them. Even though Gandalf defeated the Balrog and later died from his injuries, he returned even more powerful as Gandalf the White. As Gandalf the White, he helped turn the tide in the war for Middle-Earth, which eventually was a defeat for the forces of Mordor.

8/10 The Fellowship Went On Separate Journeys

After Boromir tried to take the ring from Frodo, Frodo was worried that anyone in the Fellowship would try to take the ring from him. After he went off alone, Sam followed Frodo and said he’ll never leave Frodo’s side, citing a promise he made to Gandalf. Frodo and Sam went to Mordor, while Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli went after Merry and Pippin.

The chances were slim to none that the entire Fellowship would have made it to Mount Doom together. Despite Frodo carrying the ring to Mordor, the rest of Middle-Earth needed help from the Fellowship. Through their separate journeys, the Fellowship was able to win the war and weaken Sauron’s forces across Middle-Earth as a result.

7/10 Frodo And Sam Kept Gollum Alive

When Frodo took on Gollum as a guide to Mordor, Sam was skeptical. Sam begrudgingly accepted this fate, knowing that Gollum knows the way to Mordor. Throughout the Lord of the Rings films, Sam told Frodo that he’s concerned Gollum will secretly plot to take the ring back, but Frodo also wanted to give Gollum a second chance to prove that the former ring bearer’s tragedy would not befall himself.

Although Gollum tried to get the ring back and turned Frodo against Sam, it was a good decision to keep him as a guide. It was clear Frodo and Sam did not know the way to Mordor, as expected from two Hobbits who had never left the Shire.

6/10 Treebeard Took The Fight To Isengard

As Merry and Pippin escaped into Fangorn Forest, they encountered Treebeard. An Ent who was thought to be one of the oldest living beings in all of Middle-Earth, Treebeard’s fateful meeting with Merry and Pippin had lasting repercussions in the war against Sauron.

At first, Treebeard wanted nothing to do with the war. However, after seeing the devastation Saruman has caused, Treebeard led the Ents along with Merry and Pippin to Isengard where they laid waste to the fortress and trapped Saruman in his tower. This put a hole in Sauron’s army, as Orcs were being made at Isengard for the war effort.

5/10 Faramir Let Frodo And Sam Go

Frodo and Sam were captured by Faramir, who they learn is Boromir’s brother. When Faramir learned that Frodo is in possession of the One Ring, he tried to bring Frodo to Gondor to use the ring against the enemy. Frodo protested and told Faramir that the ring must be destroyed.

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Faramir changed his mind after he found out that his brother was also tempted by the ring. He decided to let Frodo and Sam go when their bravery in Osgiliath impresses him. Later on, this also let Gandalf and Pippin know that Frodo and Sam are still alive, giving them time to shift their tactics to distracting Sauron so Frodo can get into Mordor.

4/10 Aragorn Sought The Army Of The Dead

Before the Battle of Minas Tirith, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli traveled the Paths of the Dead. They encountered the Army of the Dead, ghosts of soldiers who were cursed because they did not come to the aid of King Isildur in the War of the Last Alliance.

No one would ever cross into those mountains, but Aragorn had no choice. The Army of the Dead eventually trusted Aragorn because he was Isildur’s heir. The Army of the Dead overran Sauron’s forces at Minas Tirith, winning the battle for the forces of Gondor. Aragorn also released them from their curse, just as he promised to do if they would help Gondor one last time.

3/10 Eowyn Joined The Fight

King Theoden’s niece, Eowyn, is a skilled fighter in her own right. However, the king did not allow her to join the forces to march to Minas Tirith. When the army left for Minas Tirith, Eowyn secretly joined and brought Merry with her. On the battlefield, King Theoden was about to be killed by the Witch-King of Angmar when Eowyn intervened.

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Eowyn proved her worth on the battlefield and killed the Witch-King, something that no man was ever to do. Even though King Theoden died, she was able to have one last moment with him when he said he was content with dying and going to his ancestors.

2/10 Pippin And Gandalf Saved Faramir

After Denethor II, Steward of Gondor, sent his son Faramir on a suicide mission, he moureds the loss of his son when his body returns. However, Faramir wasn’t dead and despite Pippin’s protests, Denethor ordered for his son’s body to be burned.

After Pippin alerted Gandalf, they quickly came to Faramir’s aid. Denethor ended up on fire and jumped to his death. Saving Faramir was the right thing to do, especially as he was important in Middle-Earth in the future. After the war, Faramir ended up becoming Prince of Ithilien and later married Eowyn.

1/10 Frodo Went Into The West

A few years after the War for Middle-Earth, the Hobbits, Bilbo, and Gandalf traveled to Rivendell. Gandalf, Bilbo, Elrond, and Galadriel were taking a ship to the Undying Lands. To his friends’ surprise, Frodo was also making the journey.

If there is anyone in all of Middle-Earth who deserved to go to the Undying Lands, it was Frodo. Still traumatized by his experiences with the One Ring, Frodo needed the peace that the Undying Lands could give. Even though his friends were sad to see him leave, he left his book to Sam and asked Sam to write the final pages.

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