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Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Apr 15th, 2021

The relationship between Sam and Frodo

In both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and their film adaptations, Sam Gamgee, the character, was a hobbit who becomes Frodo Baggins’ close friend in his quest for the ‘One Ring’. Although Sam is Frodo’s servant (a gardener), the way they related extended beyond a simple master-servant relationship. Their friendship was based on loyalty, trust, and devotion. Gandalf chose Sam to accompany Frodo to Rivendell to retrieve the One Ring from Bilbo and destroy it. Like a loyal companion, Sam protected Frodo from harm in many battles during the quest. He also retrieved and returned the ring to Frodo after learning that he had survived the Shelob’s attack.

Why Frodo became the Ring Bearer

In the story, there are many reasons why Frodo was chosen to carry the One Ring. Bilbo, Frodo’s uncle, passed the One Ring to his nephew to take it to Rivendell, which he believed would be a safe place to keep it. However, later the Council meeting discovered that Rivendell was not a suitable place to house the mighty ring. Thus, Frodo, once again, took the ring for safekeeping. He took up the duty of protecting the ring, which made him the ring bearer. In addition, Gandalf, on several instances, said that Frodo was destined to be the ring bearer for two reasons; first, his uncle, Bilbo Baggins, retrieved the ring during the struggle involving Gollum and a goblin and thus, Frodo was an automatic heir; and second, the prophecy said that the ring must be borne by a hobbit. In the story, Frodo, being a hobbit, was considered to have a pure heart. In this regard, unlike the men and the elves in the story, the powerful ring safe could not tempt him. Thus, the ring was safer with Frodo, which made him the ring bearer.

Why Sam was not the Ring Bearer

On the other hand, Sam was not chosen to carry the ring because he owed his loyalty to Frodo. As aforementioned, Sam was Frodo’s loyal servant who fought so hard to protect his master from harm. Thus, his actions were motivated by the desire to protect Frodo. He did not understand the mightiness of the Ring. To him, the ring was ‘evil’ and thus, deserved to be cast away or destroyed. His role was to help Frodo retrieve and destroy it. His deep sense of loyalty and devotion to Frodo underscored the fact that he believed that only Frodo had the power to destroy the ring. Although he was also loyal to the other characters in the story, he only owed his allegiance to those that supported Frodo in his mission.

Moreover, Gandalf mentioned that he did not know much about Sam or his family background. He only chose Sam to accompany Frodo because he caught him eavesdropping on their informal exchange about the powers of the ring. Additionally, the fact that Bilbo gave the ring to Frodo meant that he trusted him, not Sam. Frodo, despite Sam’s loyalty and hardiness, could not give the ring to him, as he did not understand the stakes involved. Moreover, after the Shelob’s attack, Frodo was presumed dead and thus, Sam became the ring bearer. He was tempted to use it to acquire a great garden (visions), but, as a loyal friend, he returned it to Frodo once he learned that he had survived the attack and was living in the Cirith Ungol Tower.

Sam’s Loyalty to Frodo

Sam’s loyalty to Frodo is evident in the way he fought and stood by his side in the many battles they fought during the quest. Their friendship extended beyond a master-servant relationship. As the story develops, Sam and Frodo developed an intimate bond in the way they related to each other. Although Sam was Frodo’s male servant (gardener), he reverted from his master status to develop an intimate relationship with Sam, which saw them through many dangers. Sam was glad to have Frodo as his companion. From the beginning, Sam’s wish to have Frodo as his companion stemmed from his love and undying allegiance to his master. This devotion and intimacy made Sam remain loyal to Frodo throughout the quest. Being a brave and fierce fighter, Sam protected Frodo from the danger during the Cirith Ungol battle. He also hoisted him on his back up Mount Doom and vowed to be reunited with his (presumably) dead companion and master after the Cirith Ungol incident. This shows that because of the trust and love Sam had for Frodo, he was ready to do anything to save him. As a loyal sidekick, he willingly surrendered the ring to Frodo upon learning that he is alive.

The Ups and Downs of their Relationship

The relationship between Frodo and Sam had some vicissitudes. In the ‘Breaking of the Fellowship’, his loyalty annoyed Frodo, who took a patronizing stance when Sam fell off a boat and almost drowned. The bond between them grew stronger as the two men cared for and protected each other. When Frodo was injured in their first battle, Sam requested the group to stop to allow his injured friend to rest and recover. Moreover, later, when Frodo died (presumably) after the Shelob’s attack, Sam became sad and desperate but was delighted to learn that he still lived at the Cirith Ungol. He endured many dangers to reach and return the ring to him. However, Frodo’s death at Mount Doom left Sam bereft of the love and intimacy that the relationship provided.

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"Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit." IvyPanda, 15 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/sam-and-frodo-in-the-lord-of-the-rings-amp-the-hobbit/.

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IvyPanda. "Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sam-and-frodo-in-the-lord-of-the-rings-amp-the-hobbit/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sam-and-frodo-in-the-lord-of-the-rings-amp-the-hobbit/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit'. 15 April.

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