20 Idiotic Decisions Made By Characters In The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

A trilogy of fantasy films about a hobbit, a wizard, and a sh*t load of terrible decisions. Fool of a took!

People seem to forget that back in 1999, when production on the Lord of the Rings trilogy began, it was thought to be something of a risky undertaking. Jackson was a relatively unknown writer and director from New Zealand, after all, with a penchant for horror, splatter comedies, and the occasional mockumentary - hardly the sort of person one seeks out to adapt several beloved fantasy novels into a trilogy of three-hour long films. Yet despite the initial misgivings of critics, the trilogy was released into theaters to great critical and commercial success. Not only was it massively entertaining, it proved to be the new gold standard in fantasy cinema, gaining a reputation for providing both thrilling adventure and earnest drama in equal measure. The three films won a total of 17 Academy Awards and poised Peter Jackson as the premier epic filmmaker of his generation - a modern David Lean, if you will. However, with more than a decade of perspective later, it's possible to look at these films with a new eye. While the trilogy is as close to perfect as it can possibly be, the characters within it are not. The lengthy runtime of these films leaves plenty of time for every character in the ensemble cast to make blunders, mistakes, and just plain stupid decisions - all of which are rather problematic when the fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance! Here we've compiled the most obvious instances in which Lord of the Rings characters, good or evil, made choices that are questionable in retrospect, often with quite severe consequences...

20. Frodo & Sam Walk Directly Through Farmer Maggot's Crop - The Fellowship Of The Ring

When transporting a valuable and dangerous magical artifact, what is the most important thing one must remember? Not to get caught. When Gandalf first sends Frodo out to take the One Ring away from the Shire, he instructs that they must stay off the road at all costs. Despite these instructions, the off road path Frodo and Samwise chose turns out to be far from a wise one. They find themselves in the middle of a cornfield, where Merry and Pippin are being chased by the angry farmer who owns it. The Hobbits are chased all the way out of the field, and onto a road, where they encounter the Nazgul for the first time. Ever since then, they experience more and more frequent near misses with the Black Riders until barely making it to Bree before them. Does this count as an idiotic decision if they had no way of knowing Farmer Maggot's crop was so close to a well traveled road? Well, since Sam and Frodo seemed to know who's crop it was, yes. When carrying such an important item as the One Ring, it is always best to avoid trespassing on other people's property.

19. Hobbits Cook Bacon When On The Run, Alerting The Nazgul To Their Presence - The Fellowship Of The Ring

Hobbits have a tendency to think with their stomachs. Why else would they have six meals a day? When they take their rest-stop at Weathertop, Aragorn must not have realized the danger of leaving four Hobbits behind with cooking supplies and food. He leaves to scout, the most responsible Hobbit goes to sleep, and moments later Sam, Merry and Pippin are making themselves a meal of "tomatoes, sausages, and nice, crispy bacon". As delicious as that sounds, their fire alerts five of the Nazgul to their presence, who descend upon the ruined Watchtower almost immediately. The result of four untrained Hobbits facing off against five Ringwraiths is not entirely unexpected. Although Aragorn bails them out at the last moment, Frodo ends up getting stabbed in the chest with a Morgul blade. Arwen needs to race against time to save the rapidly fading Frodo, and never has the time to tell the Hobbits how their meal nearly cost their friend his life. On top of that, the poison never quite leaves Frodo's system, continuing to cause spasms of pain when he is too close to the Nazgul later in his journey, particularly the Witch-King of Angmar. It even persists after the Ring has been destroyed, because some wounds stay with you forever.

Self-evidently a man who writes for the Internet, Robert also writes films, plays, teleplays, and short stories when he's not working on a movie set somewhere. He lives somewhere behind the Hollywood sign.