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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Nan Gagnon's "Reunion", plus Jan-u-wine's "Across So Wide a Sea"....

Posted on 2006.12.02 at 06:10


mechtild at 2006-12-07 00:53 (UTC) (Link)
I am enjoying this, too, Pearl. I'm glad you liked my Harem comments, Pearl. I have made its study a pastime of mine. *grin*

Sam IS torn between his devotion to his master and his love for Rosie ... and yet he could have kept both master and wife, had Frodo decided not to sail. But Frodo is determined to sail.

That's a good point, Pearl. Frodo would have been happy being both Mr. Frodo's devoted Sam and the husband of Rosie and father of her children. But would he have ever done what he did in Frodo's absence in terms of taking his place as valued leader in the Shire, helping his people transition into the Fourth Age? I think probably not. He wouldn't want to put himself forward, but always defer to Mr. Frodo, urging him to take the lead. I think assuming his place as a good master, just as he had been a good servant, is part of what Frodo's leaving allowed Sam to be.

However, I do think that however "one and whole" Sam was in Frodo's absence, he never lost his underlying longing to sail - symbolized in his hearing the call of the Sea - and be with the person with whom he'd shared the most important era of his life. Sam may have been given the task of leadership in the Fourth Age, but his heart belonged to the Third and its leaders, most especially the Ring-bearer. By the way, I read your story and thought you lifted that theme up very well - Sam's continued Sea longing, in spite of his real happiness in M-E with his family. One can have more than one happiness in life, and more than one love, but usually one loyalty prevails.

No, because it doesn't reflect Tolkien's worldview. (...) Sam shows some of this totally unconditional, self-sacrificial love in his care for Frodo and unquenching loyalty to him as they trudge through the hell of Mordor. Frodo shows it in his unflinching commitment to the Quest and to do the right thing: he is also prepared to sacrifice himself - not for Sam, although he loves him - but for the Shire and for the world.

I am glad you brought up the difference in the foci of these two characters. They are bound together, but their eyes are not directed at the same thing. Sam's focus was on Frodo and Frodo's welfare; Frodo's was on the Quest and the Quest's welfare. The combination of the two made their mission a success. In the Undying Lands, though, I imagine their foci becoming more unified, but not on each other.

The visual metaphor I was thinking of for Sam and Frodo all day long was from the Shelob sequence (book). They make me think of Hansel and Gretel, going deeper and deeper into the dark unknown, hand in hand: to encourage each other, stay together, and out of sheer dread: but their eyes are fixed on the darkness ahead.

In the Undying Lands, I imagine their eyes becoming more and more fixed on the unknown ahead, not dark this time, but unknown and perhaps a little scary, so that eventually they will be like Hansel and Gretel again, moving towards their destiny literally or emotionally hand-in-hand, with their eyes fixed upon whatever waits for them, behind the veil.

I have always thought of Frodo's primary archetype as the pilgrim; fandom and further reading has helped me see Sam joining him in that state, until they are pilgrims together in the end, on the road, sojourners, going they know not where -- but with hope.
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