The Fellowship’s loss is clear. The Hobbits have fallen to the ground in suffering. The Fellowship has been severely tested by the loss of Gandalf. The members of the company lie separately. The unity has broken into shards that lie on the moutainside.
It is then that Aragorn turns to Frodo.
Frodo stands alone. The other Hobbits have fallen to the ground. Perhaps this is because Hobbits find security in the ground but there is a contrast with Frodo. Standing against the mountain landscape we can see some aspects of Frodo that mark him out as the hero. The facial expression is static, held between grief and some self doubt. There is an aspect of loss and because this has been of Frodo’s mentor Frodo is now unsure of his path. Overall Frodo's face appears angelic as the tears fall. The hobbit appears as a wounded angel.
Frodo is now in a harsh light, and his face seems drawn , pale and hardened against grief. Frodo’s face seems part of the landscape picked out behind him.
The face is held still making the falling tear the focus of the composition. As the tear falls we recall the fall of Gandalf in Moria. The tear falls in a line down Frodo’s cheek. It is as if this tear divides Frodo in two. On the one side he has to go on but he cannot fathom it without his dearest friend. This is not a display of outer grief. The tear comes from within Frodo. This is a deep sadness that flows from within the hero. This also may be a sacrificial tear. The tear recalls Arwen’s at the Bruinen when she hoped to exchange her life for Frodo’s. Perhaps Frodo would have sacrificed himself for his friend. The tear speaks of an inner wound that has been torn into the spirit of the hero. It seems a wound every part as deep as that inflicted at Weathertop. It will last.
This is how Aragorn finds Frodo. Yet Aragorn must lead the Fellowship away. Aragorn urges Frodo to follow:
Aragorn gives true leadership. See how Aragorn, though the situation is grave and grief is great, smiles. Why? This is because it will recall Gandalf to Frodo:
Above: Aragorn’s kindly smile recalls the warmth of Gandalf. Aragorn’s expression communicates that Gandalf has not died. There is no death. Indeed Aragorn is right since Gandalf will appear to Frodo as a more powerful inner mentor at the breaking of the fellowship at Amon Hen. In Aragorn's look we see an expression of hope in the face of grief.