Book Sale

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Samwise The True Hero

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This will not come as news to most fans of Tolkein, many of whom saw Samwise as the noblest of the fellowship. But it is kind of cool to see that the man himself considered Samwise to be the true hero of the movie:

"It is perhaps for this reason that even J.R.R. Tolkien himself considered Samwise Gamgee to be the true hero of "The Lord of the Rings" (via The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien). Though Frodo Baggins selflessly takes on the task of bearing the One Ring to Mount Doom, he begins to falter over the course of his long journey, even deciding to take the ring for himself when it finally comes time to destroy it. Meanwhile, Sam's time with the ring sees him single-mindedly devoted to saving Frodo, and he never even considers keeping the accursed object for himself.

Furthermore, Sam overcomes his humble beginnings to face off against a gigantic spider and defeat it single-handedly. He also slays a tower full of Orcs to rescue Frodo and is so formidable an opponent that the Orcs believe him to be a legendary Elven warrior. Finally, when Frodo can no longer even walk, it is Sam who carries him up Mount Doom so that he can complete his task once and for all. Still, there's even more to Sam than this."

The Four Hobbits, as the true heroes, were honoured as nobler than Kings in The Return of the King. Tolkien masterfully weaved into his story the theme of "the least of these" shall be the greatest. His tiny heroes set to shame many other men in Middle Earth, because their stout hearts and grand courage enabled them to achieve things much mightier men could not. 

As the least of the Hobbits, Sam is by nature the less notable. But he is by action and character the most noble. The moment where he carries Frodo up the mountain is a powerful example of his noble stature. When he says, "Come, Mr. Frodo!' he cried. 'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well." The power of his loyalty shines through. Whether you are reading the book or watching the movie, this is one of the most powerful moments, where all of Tolkien's themes of friendship, sacrifice, love and heroism reach their pinnacle, but in a simpler form than Aragorn's military bravery, or Legolas' skill. We see greatness in Sam, in the devotion a friend and servant has for his master and his master's cause

Sam is not just the hero of the movie. He is the hero we need. Simple men, devoted to their duty, who are willing to sacrifice what they must to see theur duty fulfilled. These are the heroes that make the world work for good. These less notable men, who prove to have a nobility even the great men should marvel at. 

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