The scene in Lord of the Rings where, after the Orc attack, Aragorn and company decide to rescue Merry and Pippin, leaving Frodo and Sam to their own devices, has never made sense to me. Two of these hobbits hold the Fate of the World™ on their finger, while two are just these guys, and Our Heroes go after the wrong ones. Tolkien doesn't show us how that decision was really made, which I think went something like this...:
"We need to protect Frodo and Sam, even if it means following them all the way to Mordor."
"Mordor? In February? No one goes to Mordor in February. There's the bugs."
"Yes, the bugs."
"And the orcs."
"I'm not afraid of the orcs."
"Well, the bugs, then."
"There are the bugs."
"Minas Tirith, then."
"Shouldn't we at least try to find Frodo? He does have the thingy, you know."
"You know, the thingy."
"Oh, the thingy. Of course he does. He's the thingy-bearer."
"We were supposed to help protect the thingy."
"But if we go after him, we'll just bring attention to the thingy."
"Exactly. It's a brilliant bit of misdirection. We'll fool him"
"You know very well whom. Him. He has eyes everywhere."
"I thought just the one."
"Well, eye everywhere. But if we go after Pippin and Merry, he'll think they're the important ones."
"Then he'll kill them!"
"It's a chance we'll have to take."