Frodo Lives!

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See also: Star Trek Lives!, I Believe in Sherlock Holmes
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Frodo Lives! is a slogan, and a reference to the character Frodo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels, Lord of the Rings. The phrase is a response to debates on whether or not Frodo, at the end of the trilogy, takes the journey to Valinor with Gandalf and the elves and becomes immortal. (Tolkien actually makes it clear that while Frodo does go to Tol Eressea, a place of rest and healing at Valinor, he remains mortal, as does Bilbo who goes with him, and Sam Gamgee who joins him there much later.)

It is, in many ways, a pre-internet meme.

It was originally popular in the 1960s and 1970s, especially after the release of the Ballantine versions of the books.

The term was used frequently in graffiti, on buttons, on bumper stickers, on T-shirts, and used in written communication.

The phrase was associated with the counter-culture movement. Frodo was seen as an "everyman" who accomplished the task no one else could: also, men who were drafted to fight in Vietnam were for the most part working class, ordinary fellows, as sons of rich families could buy their way to an easier spot to complete their service, or get out of it altogether.

Apparently, popular opinion among readers of the era was that Frodo was totally hardcore and a lucid metaphor for 60s hippies who felt held down by "The Man." Not only did Elrond, Gandalf and the other assholes effectively volunteer him into a suicide mission while they promptly skipped town, but along the way, Frodo got stabbed through the heart more times than we can count and even got stung by a spider the size of a Buick. Nevertheless, he kept on going. You know, just like hippies. And thus, hippies and beatniks shouted with one voice the phrase that would chill the establishment: "Frodo Lives!" [1]

References

  1. ^ 7 Memes That Went Viral Before The Internet Existed, April 11, 2011