Lord of the Rings - Frodo's drama

I may not be looking at story driver the same, or even the right way. But my understanding of the driver is that it’s what pushes the story forward. Frodo’s decision not to toss the ring seemed to be what pushed the story to Gollum attacking. I’ve been looking at the driver not as what solves the problem, but as what leads to both the problem and the solving of the problem. This is a very abbreviated story line, but I think Bilbo’s decision (seemingly made against his will) to leave the ring with Frodo leaves Frodo with the problem, which leads to Frodo traveling to Rivendale, which leads to the decision to send the ring to Mount Doom, which leads to Frodo and Sam traveling to Mount Doom with it, which leads to Frodo deciding to keep it, which leads to Gollum attacking and the rings destruction. So in that case, a decision would lead to the problem, and lead to it’s solution. But I would agree that it doesn’t seem like a clear shot from Frodo deciding to keep the ring to Gollum attacking. (EDIT: I’ve begun to wonder if there are really two different stories at play between Frodo keeping the ring, and Gollum falling into the lava with it)

With Boromir, again, it seems to me a decision by Frodo not to give Boromir the ring that leads to Boromir’s attacking Frodo.

There’s a story somewhere that Frodo is involved in that seems to me very deliberation driven. Whether it’s Frodo’s story, or Frodo part in another story I can’t really say. But it would be the one where everyone who crosses paths with the rings has to decide whether they would try to use the ring for good or not try to use it at all. They all have to decide whether to give in to temptation or to go with their conscience.

The stories in Lord of the Rings are like two necklaces in a jewelry box that has been bounced and shaken too much. They’re so tied together that it seems impossible to ever untie them again without just breaking them completely apart.

As far as whether Frodo changed or not, I still can’t really say. It seems he had a definite change when he kept the ring. But was he able to be pulled back within his own story? Or is it a larger story that brought him back? Or is Lord of the Rings, maybe…dare I say it…a broken tale because of Frodo’s confused ending? I can’t really say. (EDIT: Again, i’ve begun to think of Frodo as a changed character that failed to solve his problem, but whose attempt allowed the larger story to end in success)

I suppose Frodo could be changed and failed within his own narrative as he fails to destroy the ring. But when Gollum comes out and takes it from him, that’s the larger story of the War of the Ring stepping in and being solved by Gollum.

Hmm…so here I go changing my mind again. I definitely see the ring as having more of an influence on Frodo than anyone else. And I see the influence that Gollum has on Frodo as part of the Manipulation of the ring. And since the ring manipulates anyone it comes into contact with, maybe the ring should be in Manipulation rather than Fixed Attitude.

And maybe Frodo’s larger problem is less about his situation of being a small Hobbit in a big world or being the ring bearer, and more about his quest to destroy the ring. That would put the relationship into Fixed attitude. Then you would have something like this

MC Story in Activity, Doing
IC Story in Manipulation, Changing Nature
RS Story in Fixed Attitude, Innermost Desire
and OS Story in Situation, Future.

I’m not sure what the OS situation would be exactly, but let’s say that Frodo’s story is about Frodo, Sam, Gollum, and the ring. There are other characters, but those are the biggest characters in it. Then let’s say the OS Situation is the Future of the Shire or something like that, just as a place holder. Something not related to the overall War of the Ring. That would allow Frodo change within the Changing One’s Nature Concern, which causes him to decide not to destroy the ring, and it will have an affect on his Future in that he will be more and more like Gollum and the ring will continue to do evil into the future.

Then Frodo, within his own story, would be a changed character and the outcome would be failure. I’d have to unravel the judgment to see if it was a good or bad and wy.

Then it would be Gollum and the larger story that step in and solve the larger story by destroying the ring where Frodo failed. That seems to work better for me.

As I was skimming through the posts to begin catch up, a dynamic popped into my head: Could the ring be IC with a string of changing MCs, stepping in for each other to complete the task?

@Prish, that’s an interesting thought. There may be some of that going on. I’d say that Isildur and Gollum both have an MC story to the Rings IC. But I think they are both broken tales that serve as backstory to the other stories, to Frodo’s story and the one I’ve been referring to as the War of the Ring.

I’ve been trying to figure this out all weekend. I think i was getting close in the last couple posts but not quite there. I’ve decided now that Frodo’s role in multiple story forms is why it is so hard to tell if he is a change/steadfast character and whether he has a good or bad judgment. His own story has him trying to destroy the ring as a personal goal and failing. but the destruction of the ring is also the goal in the larger story, and that one is a success. Since Frodo is rewarded for his part in that, he seems to have failure and success, bad and good judgments, and looks like a change and a steadfast character, all at the same time.

Frodo’s main story has him trying to get rid of the ring. The problem seems to be something like “overcoming constant and overwhelming temptation”. I know I keep posting versions of this, but this is how I currently see Frodo’s story.

MC - Activity, Obtaining - Frodo is trying to get rid of the ring. Even though others offer, only he can carry it (except for a very small amount of time in which Sam has it).

IC - Manipulation, Changing One’s Nature - The ring tries to turn whoever comes across it to evil, tries to control them…

RS - Fixed Attitude, Innermost Desire - Frodo tries to maintain his innocence while the ring maintains its evil. Frodo wants to get rid of the ring while the ring wants Frodo to put it on.

OS - Situation, Future - I’m still not 100% on this one. They seem concerned with Frodo’s future and safety as he takes the ring to Mordor. Gandalf and Sam are for the story goal of protecting Frodo. Gollum is against it. The fellowship of the nine are for it. Boromir, in his role in the fellowship, is for protecting Frodo…until he switches to the War of the Ring story and tries to take the ring to aid in the fight for Gondor.

Hey Greg & Bob,
I hope you don’t mind if offer some of my ideas to see if they can help. I’m thinking in terms of the books rather than the films, which may not necessarily have the same storyform. So if you are concentrating on the films, take my comments with a grain of salt!

The question of whether Frodo is a Change character really depends on exactly what his personal baggage and issues are, and the perspective those issues have given him. I skimmed the beggining of the book and it seems quite apparent that Frodo’s MC throughline is about “being burdened”. Even before he learns about the ring’s danger, he is burdened with being the one to have to close out Bilbo’s party, burdened with Bilbo’s inheritance and having to divvy things up, even burdened by Bilbo’s absence and the regret of not going with him. Then he becomes the ring-bearer and it’s one more burden of Bilbo’s that he must take on.

I think you can see Frodo’s MC Concern in this quote from Fellowship of the Ring, right after Gandalf tells him his ring is the One Ring:

‘…But in the meanwhile it seems that I am a danger, a danger to all that live near me. I cannot keep the Ring and stay here. I ought to leave Bag End, leave the Shire, leave everything and go away.’ He sighed.
‘I should like to save the Shire, if I could - though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words, and have felt that an earthquake or an invasion of dragons might be good for them. But I don’t feel like that now. I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.

So his Concern has to do with saving the Shire. And then at the very end of Return of the King, you have this:

‘But,’ said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, ‘I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too. for years and years, after all you have done.’
‘So I thought too, once. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.

I would suggest that Frodo is Steadfast. His perspective is that he will never truly be able to escape his burdens, including the burden of having to save the Shire without being able to call it home again. This perspective, which has not changed but rather been cemented by his many wounds, drives him to leave Middle-Earth. (I think Judgment is still Good though – he is happy that the Shire has been saved and happy for his friends, and doesn’t regret his choices.)

But what does that mean for IC throughline, since the IC must be the Change character? I would look to Sam for that. He is all about admiring Frodo and being loyal to him. I think he starts as a Be-er but moves into a Do-er with all of his heroics, and in the end he starts a family of his own so that Frodo is not his entire world anymore. I think that is his changed perspective. He even accepts Frodo’s big goodbye speech telling him he will be the Mayor and the most famous gardener in history.

Personally, I think at least for the books there is one big storyform “to rule them all”, with Frodo as MC, Sam as IC, and the OS is the entire Fellowship and War of the Ring. The Frodo-Sam relationship has a lot of RS moments too, I think. Definitely there are sub-stories involved but I think that is the big overarching one.

Anyway, just my two cents focusing on the books.

P.S. While skimming I think I noticed that the First Driver is an Action – Bilbo’s unpremeditated difficulty in giving up the ring is what spurs Gandalf into thinking it really could be the One Ring, and forces him to decide to investigate that more.


But it is quite amazing that Gollum’s backstory MC stepped in at the very end to be the one to destroy the ring. I wonder if that is just the screenwriter’s structure or Tolkein’s. When I saw the movie, I never felt it was finished correctly because it just showed Sam going home, yet the whole book series was about the team, and it only ended when Sam turned everything over and took the last boat to the Elf after-land. imho. After 50 years the story kind of jells, I guess.

Hi all - I rewatched the trilogy this past weekend and was looking to see if anyone had done a breakdown online. Forgive the crazy long post, but this is what I came up with for the Frodo story form (excluding the others that are likely there, like Aragorn’s journey from ranger to king etc).

MC Resolve/Growth: Steadfast/Stop - In the end, Frodo works through his external environment - the many forces that oppose, support, and seek to prevent to move the right elements into place to realize his quest (ultimately prompting Gollum’s desperation for the Ring to cause its destruction). I think this manifests in Frodo moving Control to Uncontrolled, that is, giving into the Ring, which results in Gollum tackling him (to Avoid the destruction of the Ring) and falling into the pit destroying it, clearing the whole problem of Pursuit. Not Frodo’s conscious intent necessarily, but from an objective author’s viewpoint, I think this works.

IC Resolve/Growth: Change/Start - Sam rises to the occasion to go from be-er trying to be whatever Frodo needs him to be, to do-er by carrying Frodo and the Ring up the steps himself (I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!). Gollum also goes from his Smeagol/Gollum routine to tricking the hobbits into the spider’s lair and then ultimately just giving 'er and trying to take it (the climax of the 3rd act).

MC Approach: Do-er (While Frodo is not a particularly proactive do-er, Sam and Gollum (ICs) both change everything about themselves (Sam: gardener to savior, Gollum to Smeagol and back) to adapt to their situations. Gandalf also levels up between 1st and 2nd films!)

MC Mentality: Linear (go to Mountain, destroy ring - pretty goal-oriented)

Outcome: Success - Although Frodo doesn’t do it by his own will, the Ring is destroyed in the fires of Mt. Doom – achievement unlocked!

Judgment: Good - Frodo survives, rids himself of his problematic Situation and gets to go to Hobbit heaven, in this case, the Undying Lands in the West.

Driver: Action: Bilbo uses the Ring at the birthday party (action), alerting Gandalf and the world at large to its presence in the Shire and possible nature, prompting Gandalf to insist Bilbo leave the Ring to Frodo against his preferences (decision) and Gandalf to investigate (action) the Ring and determining it could indeed be the One Ring and not worth the risk keeping it in the Shire (decision), prompting him to insist Frodo take it to Rivendell (action) etc.)

Overall Story (Journey to Mt. Doom)

Physics: A hobbit goes on a physical journey to travel to a destination (Mt. Doom) and perform an action (throw the Ring into the fire). Along the way, there are battles, mountain climbs, narrow escapes, etc. - all activities!

  • Obtaining: The goal is not to “quest” for its own sake (doing), gather information/experience (learning) or appreciate the meaning of something (understanding), but to accomplish a goal i.e. destroy the ring in the fires of Mt. Doom.

  • Self-Interest - Character after character who crosses Frodo’s path on the journey to Mt. Doom contends with their desire to possess the ring for purposes that benefit them in some way (Bilbo, Gandalf, Galadriel, Boromir, Faramir, Gollum, Sauron), This is contrasted by those characters who act (and resist the Ring) in favour of the “good left in this world.” The ringbearer also makes it through some scenarios by acting for himself/when others act in his interest (Arwen and the wraith stab wound, wearing the secret mithril shirt, Sam entering the Spider’s lair and the orc tower etc)

  • Pursuit – It’s a classic pursuit/avoid story: the good guys (Frodo and the Fellowship, then solo), pursue the goal of destroying the ring while the antagonists (Sauron and company) seek to prevent its destruction.

  • The characters scramble around the notion of who Controls the Ring (Is it secret? Is it safe?) as well as knowledge of the mission. Again, Sauron and the folks from Gondor have a keen interest in this. The protagonists direct their efforts to keep it out of the wrong hands (Uncontrolled).

  • Avoid – as a steadfast character, Frodo clears the way for Avoid (Gollum who wants to prevent the destruction of the Ring) solving Pursuit (the need to pursue the Ring’s destruction) by working to move Control (struggle to keep the ring off etc) into Uncontrolled (giving into the Ring and bringing on its destruction at the hands of Gollum).

Main Character – Frodo Baggins

Situation: Frodo is in the unique situation of being the only person capable of bearing the One Ring to Mordor without succumbing to its power (Boromir) or allowing a more powerful character (Gandalf, Galadriel) to be co-opted by it (by the best estimation of Middle Earth’s best and brightest). This causes conflict for Frodo by subjecting him to the Ring’s mental manipulations (suffered by him alone), as well as externally as he is pursued by Nazgul, Gollum and those who would take it for their own purposes (namely, people from Gondor).

  • Future: this situation puts strain on Frodo, as being the owner of the Ring narrows his outlook for the future and that of his home, friends etc. Carrying the Ring causes him to grow more paranoid (Galadriel: he will try to take it from you), despairing (e.g. there isn’t going to be a journey home) and isolated (Sam couldn’t POSSIBLY understand!) as the story goes on.

  • Preconception: Frodo’s struggle in this regard are made worse by his adherence to preconceived notions – that he alone is responsible for bearing the Ring to Mordor, that no one else can ease the burden (e.g. Sam couldn’t possibly understand).

  • Help: Frodo’s unique situation (as a hobbit on a mission in a world filled with knights and monsters) means he is powerless to help himself and must put himself in the hands of others without knowing their true purpose or intent (e.g. Strider, Gollum, Faramir etc).

  • Frodo feels bound to the Ring (Controlled) and focuses much mental effort on remaining free (Uncontrolled) of its grasp (many scenes of him resisting the urge to put it on, only to fail)

  • Hinder: Only when Frodo can sort those who are hindering from those who can help will he free himself from his situation – namely by destroying the Ring.

Influence Characters – Sam/Gandalf in Book 1, Sam/Gollum in Books 2 and 3

Mind: After Gandalf’s insistent and prudent advice (E.g. Do not be so quick to deal out death in judgment., etc) in the first film, the two main influences on Frodo are Sam and Gollum. Each of these represents a fixed attitude (and, I think, the competing sides of Frodo’s own embattled psyche). In Sam’s case, a fixation on his promise to stay with Frodo no matter what; for Gollum - getting the Precious back by hook or by crook. Each character faces their own conflict as keeping to these goals proves more difficult. Fear of physical danger (and personal rejection) for Sam, his own conscience for Gollum.

  • Subconscious: In the first film, Gandalf challenges Frodo by coaxing him out of his somewhat naïve worldview –that the world outside the Shire is mostly populated by enchanting creatures like the elves. His apparent death in Moria presents the ultimate challenge: you’re on your own now. Here, Frodo nearly gives up and wants to stop. In the later books, Sam’s innermost desire to help Frodo conflicts with a competing desire to return home to the domestic life he always imagined (e.g. insistence on proper Shire cuisine, Rosie etc). Gollum’s subconscious, internal conflict is literally played out on screen (all the reflective pool scenes etc).

  • Denial: Gandalf mostly pushes against Frodo’s naivety and moral certainty (e.g. Many that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?). This denial ends and Frodo moves into a more independent frame of mind when Gandalf leaves the (Frodo-centric part of) the story. Later, Sam represents cheery optimism in the face of growing danger, acting against Frodo’s despair. Gollum struggles in denial that he is a wretched murderer undeserving of a second chance (the kind of belief Frodo begins to mirror).

  • Both Sam and Gollum struggle to convince Frodo to consider their way of thinking and reconsider the trustworthiness of the other (e.g. the bread, he’ll kill us in our sleep! etc)

  • Pursuit: Gandalf, Sam and Gollum each make a directed effort to push Frodo in the direction they think is best. Gandalf pushes Frodo toward heroic independence (let the ringbearer decide.) Sam pushes Frodo away from trust in Gollum and the Ring. Gollum pushes Frodo toward whatever keeps him closest to repossessing it.

  • Avoid: The influence characters change when they start acting to prevent Frodo from doing what they don’t want (e.g. Sam changes into an action hero to prevent Frodo giving up, Gollum reverts to his original villain self and attacks to prevent Frodo from carrying out his task).

Relationship Story – Companions of the Ringbearer

Psychology: In Part 1, the relationship between Frodo and Gandalf (friends/mentor-mentee) revolves around adjusting Frodo’s way of thinking to account for the much greater and more complex things going on in Middle Earth around them. After this, the continued psychomachia between Angel/Sam and Devil/Gollum and their attempts to win Frodo to their own benefit/ways of thinking is clearly grounded in manipulation. The relationship between Frodo and which part of the Angel/Devil combination goes back and forth as the story progresses.

  • Becoming: the relationship in this triad concerns the way the Ring is changing Frodo’s nature, making him less like Sam and more like Gollum. The 3-way relationship oscillates as Frodo puts more focus on master/servant and less on employer/employee + friend. As the Ring takes hold, Gollum’s influence on the relationship changes.

  • Commitment: their shared commitment to steering the fate of the Ring causes conflict as the relationship faces escalating costs (e.g. Sam and Frodo’s deteriorating partnership as Gollum erodes Frodo’s trust, Frodo’s betrayal of the Smeagol version in turning him into the Gondor rangers etc). This is contrasted by the fact that the relationship is dysfunctional with all three members. Which role (Responsibility) is better suited to helping the one and only ringbearer - a loyal friend or a savvy guide in the wilderness?

  • Conscience: much of the conflict in the relationship is driven by arguments about short-term benefits and long-term consequences. As the trio move closer to Mt. Doom, questions of the right path, rationing/preparing food, whom to trust and why – all heat up conflict in the relationship.

  • Outwardly, the relationship focuses on control and the desire to be freed (much ado about tying people up, who has Frodo’s ear) i.e. Control and Uncontrolled.

  • Temptation: the relationship once again reaches a balance when it moves from arguments about what’s right and prudent to embracing instincts – for violence and mistrust, leading the relationship back on the path to its original, harmonious form with Sam, Frodo and Gandalf.


I’d forgotten I’d posted on here before. I didn’t reread whatever I’d posted 2 yrs ago-and you shouldn’t read it either, haha.

I have no idea what the form is, but when you look at the problem/solution quad, you’re also looking at the character level quad and the motivation quad. When Frodo abandons his quest to destroy the ring and tries to keep it for himself, it seems like he’s taking on a new motivation and doing something that, to that point, had been out of character for him. Why wouldn’t that be a change?

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I’m just remembering the end of the film with Frodo standing there after Gollum snatched it, etc. Actually, isn’t Frodo just the same as at the beginning of the film, being prodded by obligations to do a task of some kind? That just dawned on me.

I’ll admit I’m rather new to the theory and the character grid spooks me, ha ha!

I felt that Frodo made sense as a Steadfast character because his problem doesn’t seem to stem from an internal dilemma, but forces that pile heap after heap of trouble on him - the Ring and its effects first and foremost. He goes from free will to enslavement, but this is the effect of an outside magical object, not a personal demon of some sort. He “loses” after a fashion when he puts on the Ring, but the result is the success of the mission - not sure whether he has to be consciously thinking about it for it to count for Success in the Dramatica sense!

Does anyone else think it’s strange that this post has been around since 2015 and we still can’t figure out a storyform for the most significant and beloved epic fantasy?

Anyway @bbto I agree with you definitely down to the Concern level. I also lean toward Frodo being Steadfast for the reasons you name, though I’m not prepared to defend it.

I’ve got to believe the Temptation quad is in here somewhere though. Isn’t that kind of at the core of the story?

On the other hand, if Temptation is the Problem I can’t quite see how Conscience is the Solution.

The app placed Conscience/Temptation in the Relationship in this example, but I find that throughline is a little harder to nail down myself. If you look at Temptation/Conscience as short-term benefits vs. long-term gains and vice-versa, I can see how the arguments back and forth in the Frodo/Sam/Gollum relationship about what to do next make a kind of sense.

But as for Frodo and the Ring, I saw it more as Frodo holding out as long as he could against the Ring (kind of an antagonist, “it WANTS to be found” and uses its power to get Frodo to reveal his whereabouts to Sauron by putting it on). At the Council of Elrond, it’s Frodo’s resilience to the corruption (and the political neutrality of a lowly hobbit, rather than a dwarf or elf (old grudges there) or super-corruptible man or (too powerful to even go there) wizard, having the Ring) that makes him the best and only candidate for the mission.

If the problem is the Temptation to use the ring, I mean he does that quite a few times (Weathertop, Prancing Pony, after Boromir tries to take it, Osgiliath (I think?). It gets him out of trouble, but also causes problems, could that be an example of using short-term benefits (get out of a scrape) despite long-term consequences (exposing yourself to enemies)?

The lower layers are where the problems seem to come out! This is fun!

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The other thought I had was we keep your quad, but move Pursue/Avoid to Focus and Direction.

Then we have:

Problem - Control: Everyone wants Control of the Ring
Focus - Pursuit: Everyone thinks the problem is that Sauron’s pursuit of the ring
Direction - Avoid (Prevent): We have to prevent him from getting the ring by destroying it
Solution: Uncontrolled – Frodo loses control of the ring, which leads to Golum falling into Mt. Doom


True - Frodo’s mental state definitely gets him to a place where he believes Sam wants to take control of the Ring and leaves him behind (to wander into a trap). Gollum obviously wants to control the Ring as well. Frodo already controls it, which certainly causes problems for him.

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Would Frodo have tried to keep the ring to himself in the beginning of the film?

Not sure exactly what you mean, but as it was said somewhere above, if the goal is to destroy the ring and the ring is destroyed at the end, then that’s a success. Characters don’t have to think about it or mean to do it. The fact that it’s in the story means that the Storymind is doing all the thinking about it that needs to be done.

Not particularly. There are movies with one storyform that are hard enough. LOTR seems to have many. And it’s not been made clear which story anyone is even talkomg about yet. For instance, is the OS about the whole War of the Ring that all of Middle Earth is involved in? Or is the OS we’re discussing just about the fellowship of the ring?

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“Everyone wanting the ring” seems to across as more of a problem with Desire than Control. And I think everyone trying to control or possess the ring is really more of an indicator of the concern of Obtaining.

Also, it’s true that Temptation pops up a lot in this story. I believe that’s what leads to everyone wanting to control the ring.

From the beginning, isn’t it temptation that causes Isildur to fail to destroy the ring and restore balance? Isn’t this what leads to Saruman joining forces with Sauron? And I think Boromir’s betrayal could be a great example of temptation. He and Gollum at least seem to share the Contagonist role.

Plus, there’s the scene where the other hobbits cook a nice dinner, clearly too focused on the immediate benefits of dinner to realize the possible consequence of their actions.


[quote=“Greg, post:66, topic:436”]about
Would Frodo have tried to keep the ring to himself in the beginning of the film?

No, but he knew nothing of the ring then. His uncle was taken from him and he was kind of wondering what to do, now the ring was taken and he’s wondering what to do. Just interesting. No major point, just seems steadfast in needing help, I guess.


Does Frodo wish he had been able to keep the ring at the end of the film? Is he sad that it’s been destroyed, just when he realized how much he loved it?

What worldview or perspective change does his last minute refusal to give up the ring signify? Does he realize now that he should have given up resisting its power long ago?


Hey guys,
I’ve been following along the renewed interest in this. Not sure if you’ve seen my post above but I think it’s still valid, although I’m not 100% sure on Frodo being Steadfast anymore. The part I quoted from the beginning might just indicate foreshadowing, not necessarily Frodo’s actual perspective. Although I do think his burdens are a big part of it.

I definitely like Temptation as the OS Problem though. Gandalf does recognize it at the beginning (“Don’t tempt me!” he yells when Frodo offers him the Ring) but that’s okay, he’s wise and might be one of the rare characters who actually sees the problem as it is.

Disbelief/Faith make a good Focus & Direction, with all the concern about who they can trust (e.g. initial skepticism towards Strider), and Faith is another word for Fellowship.

Part of the reason I like Temptation so much is because it’s a clear moment of Conscience that leads to the Ring’s destruction: Near the top of Mount Doom, Sam is about to kill Gollum, but takes pity and spares him.

Sam’s hand wavered. His mind was hot with wrath and the memory of evil.
It would be just to slay this treacherous, murderous creature, just and many
times deserved; and also it seemed the only safe thing to do. But deep in
his heart there was something that restrained him: he could not strike this
thing lying in the dust, forlorn, ruinous, utterly wretched.

And later Frodo admits it was Gollum who saved them all, and talks about forgiveness:

‘Yes,’ said Frodo. ‘But do you remember Gandalf’s words: Even Gollum
may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed
the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let
us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved, and now all is over. I am glad
you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.’

Of course these quotes are from the books … not 100% sure the storyform is the same, though it probably is?