Frodo has subdued Gollum. In this image we learn much about the transformation of Frodo into a hero and the inner struggle that runs parallel to the journey to Mordor
Frodo is composed as an epic figure. Frodo’s countenance recalls that of the epic hero. The face here recalls many of the figures in classical heroic art. Frodo has come a long way from the Shire. Frodo no longer has a book in his hand in a leafy glade. Now the hero has a sword in his hand in the hard place that is the Emyn Muil. Notice how the rugged features recall Aragorn. Frodo has learned from Aragorn the bearing of the hero/warrior.
Above Frodo has the bearing of Aragorn.
Yet we also see here a flavour of mercy. Frodo’s eyes suggest that he will follow Gandalf’s wisdom on showing mercy to Gollum. The blade will not follow through rather it will make a connection between the Hero and Gollum as Frodo must endure a struggle with his shadow.
Above is a detail from Burne-Jones classic depiction of St.George slaying the Dragon set against a detail of the image from Two Towers.