After all that the fellowship in the Lord of the Rings endure together, some viewers are unsure how Frodo could leave them behind. Though Frodo was as devoted to them, he already had to put the well-being of an entire world before himself and decided now to do what was best for him. There are of course a list of reasons why Frodo ultimately decides to say goodbye to Middle-earth and hello to the Undying Lands. Of course, leaving one’s home forever is not a decision that one makes lightly.
First, it’s important to note that, at the end of Return of the King, Frodo and Bilbo go there, accompanied by Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond. This allows them safe entrance to the Undying Lands, which they are only granted because they bore the burden of the ring for the sake of Middle-earth.
On the other side of that, Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf are returning there to finally rest after completing their missions. Elrond is returning to his people. Galadriel existed in Middle-earth in exile, and Gandalf was sent there with the purpose of bringing an end to Sauron. Once Sauron is defeated, they are both allowed to return, having both played a significant role in his demise.
It’s also very important to point out that the Undying Lands is not a place that grants immortality, but rather beings that are immortal choose to live there. Thus, Bilbo and Frodo are not going there to gain immortality, but to live out the remainder of their days in divine peace. This is, however, the reason that holy beings are separated from mortals in this world.
At one time, men (tempted by Sauron) desired to obtain the immortality of those that existed in the Undying Lands-- assuming that the power came from the land itself-- and they attacked it. This is what resulted in the continents being divided and the divine people of the Undying Lands being separated from the unholy creatures of Middle-earth. This is also why mortals are not permitted in the Undying Lands in the first place.
Frodo, being permitted to go though, decides to take the opportunity for several reasons. Considering Frodo’s character from the moment fans meet him, it actually quite makes sense that he decides to leave the Shire behind and live out the remainder of his days through a new adventure.
From the moment Frodo is introduced in The Fellowship of the Ring with Gandalf coming into town, it’s clear that he is fascinated by tales of adventure. It’s apparent pretty early that Frodo would be interested in going on a journey of his own, which, beyond him being Bilbo’s relative, makes him a good candidate for carrying the ring. Even among the burdens of his journey as he carries it, he doesn’t cease to marvel at the new experiences along the way. That being said, it’s not surprising that Frodo would then long for an adventure that’s less perilous, giving him time to enjoy new experiences.
Frodo’s injuries also likely played a role in his decision to leave. When he is finishing up his additions to Bilbo’s Red Book, Sam enters and Frodo comments on how his injury from the King of the Nazgul’s blade never fully healed. He is clearly still experiencing pain from his old injuries which was probably a finalizing factor in his decision. The Undying Lands are known to have healing abilities not found in Middle-earth, making it the most reliable means of escaping his physical pain.
His obligation to Bilbo was also probably a reason that he decided to make the journey, just as he was a significant factor in why Frodo chose to go through with carrying the ring. Frodo has always admired Bilbo, if not viewed him as a hero. His tales of adventure are what first piqued Frodo’s interest in the world outside of the Shire. Further, Bilbo is Frodo’s closest remaining relative, them being close cousins. Frodo has witnessed more than once how the ring polluted parts of Bilbo’s mind and soul, and now having experienced some of that himself, he likely wants Bilbo to have the opportunity to counteract that somewhat before his life ends.
Though it may not have been a driving factor in his choice, the biggest benefit to Frodo going to the Undying Lands is the mental peace and healing that it offers him. It was quite evident through the trilogy’s story that Frodo endured a lot of mental trauma and trust issues during his mission. He was constantly exposed for a long period of time to creatures of darkness-- and friends-- that threatened to corrupt or destroy him. After that, the promise of a land where only the good and holy exist, quite literally, sounded like Heaven to Frodo. No matter what pushed him to his choice to go, it couldn’t have been easy for Frodo to leave the only home he’s ever known and his friends and family. This was certainly a decision he considered for a long time before making the choice.
Audiences were surely saddened by Frodo’s farewell to the Hobbits that accompanied him on his adventure, and many questioned how he and Sam could bear to part from each other. Fans may find some comfort in knowing that there’s a chance the two life-long pals were reunited. What the movies did not show is that Samwise later accompanies Gimli and Legolas to the Undying Lands, as is recorded in the Red Book of Westmarch by Sam’s daughter, Eleanor. It was never confirmed for certain whether or not Sam made it during Frodo’s lifetime or if he actually made it at all but fans can hope.
Frodo was certain to have found peace in his final days but the fellowship being there together would have really made it feel like Heaven. Regardless of whether the fellowship that Lord of the Rings fans came to love was ever reunited or not, there’s no doubt that they were all deserving of a peaceful ending in the Undying Lands. Be it in their life on Earth or in the realm that lies after, the members of the fellowship would always be connected, which is surely what has gained this story a fanbase with equal devotion.
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