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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

The End of All Things: Pt. IV ~ “If ever I was to marry someone….”

Posted on 2006.03.20 at 15:36


mechtild at 2006-03-22 14:43 (UTC) (Link)
Well, didn't even Tolkien call Sam, "the hero"? But he would never denigrate Frodo's role. I think he was talking about the difference in the roles they played. Sam's was the obvious, necessary "hero," rising to the occasion beautifully, but because he was able to -- he was not bearing the Ring. He was, in fact, merely doing his job - beautifully. But that he would be seen as the "hero" by readers is plain, and plain to Tolkien. Didn't he even say that Frodo himself suffered afterwards in part because he had wanted to be "the hero"? Tolkien related it to his last shred of pride, the bit of pride that needed to be dealt with on Tol Eressea. If he hadn't had it, he would have been able to accept that he had done just what he ought, and all that anyone could have done and more put in the same circumstance. But his bit of pride made him regret that he had not done the "heroic" thing.

Also, I think that readers can't help but focus on and love Sam's heroism precisely because it preserves Frodo, whom they love. In so far as they identify with Frodo, they love Sam for being a person whom they can count on to rescue and sustain them. In so far as they identify with Sam, they revel in the fact that they are able to rescue and sustain him.

Since the last part of the Quest is written from Sam's POV, it's difficult not to understand Sam better, to identify with him, and love him. And he really has been through an awful lot and grown a lot by the time the hobbis set foot in Mordor. Who would recognize that hobbit from the one we saw in the end of "The Shadow of the Past", when he seems little more than a goggle-eyed 'tween, squeeing about seeing the Elves?

Frodo is truly a light for those to see that can.

I think all lovers of the books can see this, but they see this more or less clearly depending upon what place they are in, in their own lives.

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