Could Frodo Have Survived Moria?

Alice Cooper-Dunn, Richard Walker


In the film ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’, Frodo the hobbit manages to survive a cave-troll spear attack in the mines of Moria, however in the books this stab is delivered by a goblin-chieftain. Frodo is relatively unharmed due to wearing an impenetrable Mithril shirt of chain mail. This paper discusses whether it would be possible for Frodo to survive such an impact force from either the cave-troll or the goblin-chieftain without fracturing his sternum, irrespective of the finely wrought chain mail and therefore still be able to flee further from a Balrog shortly after. The conclusion of the model used is that Frodo may have been unharmed by the goblin-chieftain attack but the cave-troll attack would impart a force of 64,300 N to Frodo’s chest and irrespective of dissipation of the force across his chest; this impact force is great enough to result in sternal fracture, a debilitating injury which would have made escape impossible. 


Book; Film; Biology; Physics; Biomechanics; Mechanics; Tolkien; Middle Earth

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