Frodo and Sam are about to enter Mordor. The two gaze out into the landscape. The gazes of the two are subtly different. Frodo looks at Mount Doom in the distance and seems to look slightly beyond it. This gaze speaks of a destiny beyond which is only partly a physical challenge. Frodoís quest is also a spiritual, internal struggle and hence the light of this image is centred on his features giving them a ethereal, almost divine air. Frodoís gaze is partly directed inwards, his eyeline is distant but contains an element of forboding. Sam stands behind his master and his gaze has a steely resolution. Perhaps Sam is already figuring how to cross the rocks and gulleys between the party and Mount Doom. Itís as if Frodo is slightly leaning away from the task but Sam is leaning into it even though he is the figure in the immediate background. We might speculate that Frodo has even taken a step back and Sam may have gently rested the palm of his hand in his back.
Here they stand on the threshold. Master and Servant. Frodo is beholding the vision of his destiny and seems almost to hestitate. Ahead are the hard and sharp stones of Mordor but behind his master stands a rock of support and determination. Here is service. Sam serves his masterís quest. The quest is joined. Together this duo have embodied a powerful forward force. The energy of master and servant has come together and it will endure. We are reminded that Christ had the two aspects of master and service and, without labouring the point, there is a play of that in this portrayal. The weight of the quest is evident for a moment.