Frodo undertook his quest out of love – to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could; and also in complete humility, acknowledging that he was wholly inadequate to the task. His real contract was only to do what he could, to try to find a way, and to go as far on the road as his strength of mind and body allowed. He did that. I do not myself see that the breaking of his mind and will under demonic pressure under torment was any more a moral failure than the breaking of his body would have been – say, by being strangled by Gollum, or crushed by a falling rock.
That appears to have been the judgement of Gandalf and Aragorn and of all who learned the full story of his journey. Certainly nothing would have been concealed by Frodo! But what Frodo himself felt about the events is quite another matter.

“The Letters of JRR Tolkien, letter #246 (September 1963)

so, more or less, no power in the world can convince me he wasn’t a bloody hero. said it ten years ago, sayin’ again now.

(via numenna)