Nine fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom
The question at hand is: Why was Frodo selected as the Ring bearer? The explanation we are expected to swallow is that it was his destiny. Destiny, however, is the sort of explanation that Darth Sidious and Darth Vader like to toss around. His "destiny" was to skulk through the ashes of Mordor and surrender to the Ring.
Naturally the Council of Elrond had better sense than to pat Frodo on the back and send him off to certain failure. Clearly there has been some editing of history; the official version of events and what really happened ran on different tracks.
We don't know, of course, what actually happened, but one possibility runs like this: There never was any expectation that Frodo could throw the ring into the cracks of Doom. Gandalf and Elrond had a little chat with Sam. Sam's job was to push Frodo into the volcano at the end when he failed to cast the ring and instead claimed it as his own, as he inevitably would.
When Gollum caught up with them Sam had a better idea. He conned Gollum, telling him that Gollum deserved the ring more than Frodo, and telling him that if Gollum would help them get to Mount Doom, Sam would help Gollum get the ring. They got there, Frodo failed, Sam and Gollum took the ring away from him, Gollum claimed the ring, and Sam gave Gollum the big push.
Sam suggested to Frodo (who was completely bereft at the loss of the ring) that it would be a good idea to have a cover story; the tale of the finger was the best that they could come up. Naturally Sam never told Frodo that Sam had been along as Frodo's appointed executioner.
This page was last updated July 1, 2005.