I think you make a great point in that the Hobbit was ment to be a fun kids book, with a fun and likeable little hobbit who is the main character beyond a shadow of a doubt, and who gets to be the hero and who ends up happy back at home and is everyones idea of a happy ending... With Frodo, not only were there three other primary main characters(Gandalf, Aragorn, Sam), bit the plot is so much deeper and encompasses a bigger picture whose outcome effects more than just a few dwarves and a little town and some drunk elves. Don't get me wrong. I loved the hobbit. I still love it. Bilbo is everyones idea of a fun loving hobbit who had a grand adventure, one which I think we all would have enjoyed taking part. But no one, having read Lord of the Rings, would say the same thing about Frodo and Sam, for Frodo's quest was one of doom and despair. Even when he did succeed, he was never able to go back like Bilbo and live happily in the Shire.
Originally posted by Hadhafang
Overall, I like Frodo better than Bilbo. I feel that his tale was much more meaningful and deep than Bilbo's. Bilbo was a force for good amongst the dwarves, elves and men in one region of Middle Earth in "The Hobbi"t. Frodo was a force for good for the whole world. The thought of a little person carrying a ring into the biggest hell on Earth developed the theme of "Even the meek halep shape the good of all." Bilbo did this to a much lesser extent than Frodo.
Was Frodo more real than Bilbo? Yes... and because of that, I liked him better.
When I read LotR I found myself thinking the same thing. I did not see him as this depressed, teary-eyed, moody and unpredictable character. I found him a believable hero and his adventure realistic as far as victories and failures.
Originally posted by HLGStrider
My version of Frodo was a whole lot happier than other people's perceptions seem to be. He was often tired, but he smiled in a tired sort of way when Sam talked or something like that. I think a lot of it is in facial expressions I gave to him that weren't mentioned in the book.
Bilbo will always be a happy and smiling hobbit in my mind who was forced from his home to go on an adventure that eventually shaped the entire history of ME. Frodo (and Sam) will always be the true hero(s) to me because what they did was so much more incredible and amazing.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, angles nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord - the apostle Paul - Romans 8:38-39