Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Samwise Gamgee

Why Samwise Gamgee is my favorite character from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I can remember first watching Lord of the Rings while visiting my grandfather up north. After a long day of playing in the woods and riding horses, my dad put the movie on for me. I was only nine years old, so I didn't quite comprehend the full meaning of the movie. Years later, now the full trilogy has been released and I've seen all of The Hobbit, I can finally say Sam is my favorite character from the entire series.

 Granted, the entire world is amazing. But out of all the wizards, orcs, elves, humans, hobbits, and dwarves, something about Sam has always captivated me. Unlike the other characters in the story who rise to meet the challenges they are set with, Sam already had all of those qualities.

From the very beginning, without even knowing what he is getting into, Sam joins Frodo. Of course, there is a little nudging from Gandalf, but the moment the wizard is out of sight, there is no reason for Same to continue with Frodo apart from his intense loyalty. This loyalty continues throughout the entire series, including my favorite scene when he almost drowns in his attempt to stay by Frodo's side. The music during that scene always gives me chills, but the words are equally beautiful. "I made a promise, Mr. Frodo, a promise. 'Don't you leave him Samwise Gamgee' and I don't mean to. I don't mean to," (Sam.)

Continuing in the series, Sam is a constant companion of Frodo's, even when Gollum poisons Frodo against him. He has the chance numerous times to leave and go home, yet he doesn't. Other characters also could leave, but there are reasons for them to continue fighting. In Aragorn's case, he fights for love and honor. For Legolas, he fights for his people. For Gimli, he fights for his people and for his pride. For Gandalf, he fights because in my opinion, he seems to really like the drama and he's strong, so why not? For Pippin and Merry, they fight for each other. But Sam...he fights because that is who he is. Unlike the other main characters who grow into their strength's and evolve, Sam was already as strong and loyal as he is in the end.

Hobbits in general are my favorite species from J.R.R. Tolkien's world because of their loyalty and natural tenacity. Despite not being "strong" in the traditional sense of the word, each of them are able to draw upon the strengths most of us have. Sure, not all of us can wield a sword, grow a kick-ass beard, or command an army of the dead, but we sure can connect with others and decide what we believe is right. And when we decide what we think is right, being able to see our goal to completion is what makes us truly strong.

And for me, no one in the series quite exemplifies this strength quite like Samwise.