No Regrets

Such a failure I am. Only out of pity did they allow me to go to Valinor. You see, I am Frodo Baggins, called the Ringbearer by many. I was entrusted with the task of bringing Sauron’s One Ring to Mount Doom to destroy it. Sounds easy enough, but as I said, I failed miserably. The only thing that saved us all was Gollum, the pathetic creature he is. It’s sad to think that when it came down to it, he was the one to save Middle Earth and not I. Valinor has not helped my spirits any, rather it has brought me to an emotional low. Seeing everyone else happy only makes me realize my own pain even more.

“If only I had one more chance,” I thought to myself. “I know I wouldn’t fail.”

That can be arranged.

“Who said that?” I said, wheeling around. No one was there.

Hello, Frodo. You may not know me, but I know a great deal about you.

“Reveal yourself!” I demanded. The voice chuckled.

As you wish, they said, and everything went black.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I awoke sometime later, the exact time could not be determined. I felt like I was floating in mid-air, as I was suspended in a universe of white. Nothing living could be seen.

“Where am I?” I asked, confused.

I brought you here. I am your creator, Frodo. Everything in this entire world is my creation. I am the One, Illuvatar to the Elves, though you may call me Eru.

“What did you do to me?” I yelled. “Why am I here?”

I heard you musing, wanting another chance to prove yourself. You are currently suspended in time and space. No time will pass during your adventure. Are you sure that you want to go back and change what you have done?

“Yes,” I replied certainly. “Take me back to that time.”

Very well, although it will require delicate refining of your timeline. Come, I will show you what I mean.

I was taken from the white void into a landscape of black. Filling the space was literally millions of tiny lines, all intertwined and branching of one another. Some were constantly in motion, while others were still forever.

Timelines, Eru explained. Everyone has one, and it is the only concrete evidence of the past. You may only go back on your timeline, never forward. A complicated system, really. Now, it is time Frodo. I hope your mind is clearer after this.

I felt a dreamlike trance coming on. I had the pleasant feeling of falling, and saw no more.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I rubbed my eyes as I awoke. Sam and I were in Mordor, he carrying me on his back. We were climbing up Mount Doom and I felt so exhausted and weary.

“Almost there Mr. Frodo,” Sam reassured. I tried to smile, but couldn’t find my strength. We went at a slow pace and I felt a sense of urgency.

“Please hurry,” I choked out. My throat was parched and I could barely talk anymore. Sam only nodded in his obedient way. I felt myself drifting in and out of sleep, until he gently laid me down.

“We’ve made it,” he whispered. “Now, for the final stage.” I hauled myself up on my feet and staggered up the last final feet. I was at the top now, and kept walking until I heard a muffled shout. I turned around and saw Gollum pounced on top of Sam. Sam tried desperately to push him off, but Gollum had gotten a hold of Sam’s knife and stabbed him fiercely with it. I screamed in anguish, which only drew Gollum’s attention. He ran over to me, and I willed myself to head to the Cracks of Doom, hoping to throw the ring in once and for all. I took it out and prepared myself to toss it in, but Gollum suddenly leaped and pushed me to the ground. The ring flew out of my hand and he was quicker than I. Before I could get up, he had found it and put it on. I sensed the Red Eye of Sauron perceiving us once and for all, and Gollum danced around happily.

“Precious, precious, oh my precious,” he sang in his joy, oblivious to the rest of the world. I felt incredible rage at the nerve of him trying to steal what was rightfully mine. I tried to tackle him, but he scampered away, finding a newfound strength. Streaks of black now filled the sky and eight Nazgul surrounded us, quickly piercing Gollum with their blade. I cowered in the corner, not knowing what else to do. It was a horrible mistake, as the Nazgul killed Gollum instead of sparing him to be one of their servants. They took the ring and flew away, their duty done at last. Sam lay dead a short distance away, but it didn’t matter anymore. Now we would all be the Dark Lord’s servants.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I was jolted back to the present with a gasp. I was back in the black empty space, shaking from nerves.

Well, well, Frodo, the past is not a nice thing, now is it? Even if you would have been able to destroy the ring, which in that situation you could have, events may not turn out as you would think. Timelines are a delicate thing, if even slightly disturbed everyone else’s changes as well. Do you understand that now?

“No,” I replied defiantly. “It may not have turned out that way. What if I would have managed to actually throw the ring into the Cracks of Doom? None of that would have happened.”

Quite so, but…well, I’ll let you see for yourself.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I was back into an alternate reality, this one seeming to take place after the destruction of the ring. There was a huge celebration going on, and I was being praised for my incredible courage and bravery. I smiled and thanked everyone, actually feeling worthy of the compliments this time. I found some of my old friends and caught up on their stories of the war. I noticed someone was missing.

“Where’s Pippin?” I asked Merry. It was unusual to see the two apart. Merry lowered his eyes.

“He…perished in battle. Crushed by a cave troll, they think if only they had been quicker in recovering him…” He closed his eyes and shook his head. “I still don’t believe it.” His voice was now barely a whisper. Like a puzzle, the pieces all fit now. In my actions, although I had succeeded, I had wasted precious minutes, minutes in which one of my best friends was dying. If I had never hesitated, or just walked a little bit faster up the mountain…perhaps he would be alive today. Fate had a horrible way of never working out the way we wanted it to.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now young Baggins, do you understand? Do you understand everything is connected in a delicate way and one disturbance will inevitably change others’ lives besides yours?

“Yes,” I answered shamefully. I had been so blind until now. My actions affected what happened to everyone else. I had simply been selfish and naïve, what happened had happened for a reason.

Very good, I am glad I have shown you what you never saw before. Now, you must return to your own time, I am sure there are people waiting for you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I was back in Valinor, sitting by the fire. Time had not passed since I had left, just as Eru said. I suddenly felt the will to live again. Although I couldn’t change my past, the future was left up to me. I couldn’t live my life feeling regret for circumstances beyond my control. I breathed out deeply, smiling genuinely for the first time in ages.

“No regrets, what may be will be,” I said softly to myself. My eyes had that glazy look that they took on when I was deep in thought.

“Look thoughtful tonight, Frodo.” It was Gandalf, coming to sit down beside me. “What’s on your mind?”

“Everything,” I muttered. He nodded knowingly.

“Yes,” he said in his calm, reassuring voice. “Don’t let it burden you.”

“I won’t,” I replied honestly. “I’m ready to let go of yesterday and look for tomorrow.”

5 thoughts on “No Regrets

  1. spiritstallion says:

    I know this is an older story, but I felt the need to show my thanks for the pleasure of reading a story that is good enough to have been part of the great piece of literary work, known as ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

    ‘No Regrets’ was great.

  2. Jenniefer Kingsley says:

    This is a very interesting look at the could-have-beens. I liked it for many reasons, one of which being that Frodo comes to terms with what happened to him and can accept it. I also liked how you showed that if one tiny thing changed, there could be unseen consequences. Whatever happens, happens for a reason, though we may not find out why until much later down the road (if at all). Very thought provoking.

  3. WhiteSparrow says:

    Awsome! I loved your story. I’m a big Frodo fan and I’ll read anything I can find on him. Your a good writter and I look forward to reading more of your stories in the future.

  4. Drew L says:

    What’s zis? New Frodo angst? ‘Ay, I knew you wouldn’t be able to keep off it for long. *normal voice* Heh, it was good. The timeline thing…you have a deep insight. Lucky. *pouts*

  5. toastedcheese says:

    A thoughtful and unusual piece, especially with the tricky nature of altering outcomes. Frodo’s personal guilt at not being able to overcome the final temptation is often underplayed, and I think was the greater part of the wound which would never heal – spiritually, anyway. I would have loved to see more of Valinor, but then again, the marvellous thing about the Blessed Realm is the mystery surrounding it 🙂 Nice conclusion!

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