This post contains huge spoilers for the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
I love Lord of the Rings more than words can say. The world is incredibly rich, thoroughly planned out and built up, the characters are all about as dynamic as they can be, and it's so obviously the product of love from JRR Tolkein.
When it comes to the amazing cast of characters, most fans are pretty decisive about their favorite. For many years, Legolas was by far my favorite character in the series. He's elegant, skillful, whimsical... and I mean, he's played by the stunningly good-looking Orlando Bloom in the movies. What's not to love?
However, at the end of the day, everyone needs a Samwise Gamgee. Yes, yes, I know, he's just the chubby gardener that got thrown into the whole mess because he was droppin' some eaves. Regardless, Sam is by far the strongest and most important character in the whole trilogy. The Ring never would have made it to Mordor without him. Yes, he's the strongest character. I stand by that statement, even with the might of the Elves, Dwarves, Tree Ents, and Galdalf on the team, Sam rises above them.
Why Does Everyone Need a Samwise Gamgeee?
Oh, don't you fret, I'll tell you exactly why.
Sam is probably the most loyal, morally sound, enduring, faithful, and honest character I've ever had the privilege of reading. Remember that time Sam thought he lost Frodo because Frodo had just barely left his sight? In an instant, Sam was ready to search every corner of Middle-earth for his dear friend. He made a vow to watch over and protect Frodo, and the ever-faithful Sam was going to honor that vow, no matter what it takes.
What about the moment that split up The Fellowship? Frodo sneaked to the boats, determined he would make the rest of the difficult journey alone. After witnessing so many lives lost and the corrupting power of the Ring, Sam ran after Frodo against all odds. Sam was faithful and true all the way to the pinnacle deciding moment of their quest. Sam didn't laugh in the face of the danger, he went with Frodo in spite of it.
Need I continue to remind you? Everyone needs a Samwise Gamgee. When life is at its hardest, and you think you are alone, your Sam will always be there for you.
Remember how everyone always teased Sam for being a fat hobbit? Screw their fat phobia. Sam was an excellent cook, and took joy in nurturing acts. Sam carried all of the extra weight of pots and pans on his back for everyone in The Fellowship, and made sure each and every one was fed. If you've never had the pleasure of a good friend that's an excellent cook, you're missing out. Sam's cooking was sure to keep morale and spirits high amongst The Fellowship. More importantly, hot meals each night kept everyone restful at camp and full of strength and energy by the day.
This was crucial when Frodo and Sam split from the main group, as Frodo could barely do more than fight the Ring's corruption. Sam cooked and cleaned up for Frodo anyway. He couldn't perform gallant feats of strength or magic like the others from The Fellowship, so he helped Frodo in the best way he knew how, by love and nurturing. In the end, I think Sam's love was all that kept Frodo from falling into the Ring's intention, and got the Ring to Mount Doom.
Sam is someone who will take care of you, especially when you can't. He will make sure you are fed and stand by your side while you suffer, showering you with love. Everyone needs a Samwise Gamgee.
Sam took real joy in some of the smallest things one can find in Middle-earth. His genuine love for gardening and things that grow in the ground is so wholesome. When Galadriel is giving gifts to the company, she gives Sam a box of soil with which to garden. After handing out weapons and armor to all of The Fellowship, she knows that Sam's great strength comes from his compassion and ability to nurture things to health and strength, at caters to his individual strength beautifully.
Furthermore, Sam has such a genuine excitement in experiencing the majestic sights of Middle-earth. When he is told he will accompany Frodo out of his homeland for the first time in his life, he meets it with excitement instead of fear. Why? Because Sam just wants to see the Elves. The idea of getting to experience and admire the unyielding power and beauty of the Elves is enough to send him on a grand and dangerous journey. I love that about Sam.
Sam's love for the little things in the world around him are major components that make up his incredible personality. Being around someone who reminds you to stop and smell the flowers can have a powerful effect on your life. His love for the world around him reminds you that no matter how arduous and lengthy the road ahead is, there will always be beauty to experience along the way. You know what I'm going to say, right? Everyone needs a Samwise Gamgee.
Remember when I said the Ring would never have been cast into the volcano without Sam? The ideas above made sure Frodo and the ring made it to Mordor, but that would have meant nothing without Sam's ultimate test of strength and compassion. As the Ring's influence on Frodo became ever greater, Frodo became angry, untrusting, and just plain terrible to Sam. However, Sam still poured love into Frodo, and knew his dear friend would be back once they got the Ring to Mount Doom.
Sam never lost faith in Frodo and his goodness. When all strength failed Frodo, Sam offered to take his burden. However, the Ring had so deeply corrupted Frodo, that he couldn't bear to let it go to Sam. Sam didn't pretend to understand his friend, but accepted his stubbornness instead of arguing with it. Sam instead lifted Frodo and the Ring, and carried them up to Mount Doom, freeing Frodo from much of his burden. Though Sam was doing excruciating work in carrying Frodo, Sam still gave Frodo the majority of the food and water. Sam loved Frodo dearly, and supported him through their hardest trials, even when Frodo no longer had the will to go on..
You need someone who will stand by you when life is at its hardest; someone who accepts you as you are, no matter how stubborn or cranky you may be at times, and help you through your struggles.
Everyone. Needs. A. Samwise. Gamgee.
This essay/post was inspired by my own Samwise Gamgee. I'm beyond lucky to have a Sam by my side, and even more lucky that he's my best friend, partner, and husband-to-be. I wanted to take a moment and appreciate the light he's been in my life, and reflect on the good he does for me in honor of our 4-year anniversary today. I love my Samwise Gamgee, and I hope that I am a Sam for him too.