Is The Lord of the Rings Really a Story of Samwise?

I’d like to give you a short thinker blog.

Have you ever wondered if the epic tale of Frodo and the Ring of Power is actually the frame for a much more intimate tale of the value of friendship and loyalty?

What if when stripped down, the real crux of the three books is perfectly shown in Samwise’s journey?

samwise

Samwise and Frodo photo credit: andy z via photopin cc

Could this awful carnage and waste, the trials and the pains of Middle Earth, been a picture painted by Tolkien of World War I, and Samwise a symbol, a glimpse of light, of what was still good in humanity holding secure during the great conflict?

Is the trilogy really a story about Samwise?

Give me some comments.

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Comments

  1. Lucy January 2, 2014 #

    I think it could very well be argued that the book is about Sam. At least in the movies he is the character it focuses on last…I don’t know what it does in the books though 🙁

    • Drew Ellenwood January 2, 2014 #

      Hey Lucy, see my comment to Jessica.

  2. Jessica Worcester January 2, 2014 #

    I love that you wrote about this! I, like Lucy, never read the books, but I have thought at times that Sam was essential in the story, that he was an image of something much deeper than even Frodo and some of the others. I am not well-versed at literary discussion, but I did want to tell you that I agree and would love to hear more of your thoughts o the issue.

    • Drew Ellenwood January 2, 2014 #

      Thanks Lucy and Jessica. We remember that Sam was a ring-bearer, no matter how brief. Sam was the one that kept in view the goal even when Frodo lost hope and later when he lost his mind at the brink of Mount Doom and wanted to keep the ring. I’m not versed in literary discussion either. I just know what I like and I can think. That’s all literary discussion is… I think. I do believe you both have touched on the issue of Samwise. He is an image of something deeper, of hope, dogged steadfastness, and loyalty in friendship, of brotherly love that transcends to agape, that self-sacrificing love. But at a simpler level, he is an image of the Shire, of home, of family and friends and peaceful times, of what Frodo was really fighting for. I think Frodo would have lost that vision very quickly without Samwise at his side. And I think Sean Astin played Sam to perfection in the movies.

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