The Lord of the Rings
There is a book out there, a book with many characters, each with their own personal characteristics, backstories, motivations, goals, and methods. This book is called The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This book is highly acclaimed, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, a fantasy writer who spawned a huge following with a single book that turned itself into a trilogy with movies to follow each book, and then later had The Hobbit which is currently being filmed as a movie. But getting back on topic...
Frodo and Sam
There are two characters who stand out much more than the others in this book, as well as the other books and especially in the movies, where they are made even more prominent than the other characters. These two characters are Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. Now these characters have some similarities, but they are mainly quite different from one another, merely reinforcing the thought of individualism that goes along with books written like this. No two characters are exactly alike. Sam and Frodo are no exception. To go with some similarities, it could be said that they both wish to destroy the ring, and they are quite attached to one another. With differences, Frodo is wealthier, whereas Sam is often considered to be the "servant", and Sam shows a bravery that Frodo does not, though Frodo shows courage that many often overlook.
Destruction of the Ring
To go with the first topic, both Sam and Frodo wish to destroy the ring. There is a natural distaste for the evil that resides in the East, in the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. A wide distaste among all the peoples of Middle Earth, which should have been eliminated many years ago, when Sauron was slain the first place by Isildur, heir to the throne of Gondor. Of course, the power of man failed, and the ring lived, so Sauron continued his existence. This was all that was needed, and the ring had a mind of its own, wanting to return to Sauron, to its master. But enough about that, let's get back to the hobbits. Frodo is the son of the late Bilbo Baggins, who found the ring when he was with Gollum, the twisted hobbit who found the ring after Isildur was slain. Bilbo kept the ring for good luck, and it gave him youth.
The ring was passed on to Frodo, and the wizard Gandalf bade him take it to Rivendell, which Frodo agreed to do. Samwise was also tasked to go with Frodo as his companion. Sam, like Frodo, wants to be rid of the ring and free Middle Earth of the tyranny of Sauron, though this isn't until after the meeting at Rivendell, home of the Elves, when Frodo offered to take the ring to Mordor and destroy it himself. Sam was among the Fellowship put together to guard Frodo on his way to Mordor and to help him destroy it. The ring kept Sauron alive, corrupted Isildur, Gollum, and started on Bilbo. It also started on Frodo, but not until the very end of the final movie, and even then Frodo broke free of its power. Frodo wanted to destroy the ring to stop it from corrupting any more innocents.
Now then, it is widely known that these two are very close to eachother. This closeness is depicted to the point, especially in the movie, that many ask "Are they gay?", with "gay" referring to the derogatory term for "homosexual". The answer to this? No, they are not. In America, it is often thought that two men cannot be close in a personal way unless they are gay. It is unheard-of for two men to have a relationship such as Sam and Frodo do. In today's terms, this is described as a "bromance". Rather vague, yes. But a bromance is described as "a close non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men, a form of homosocial intimacy." This does fit Sam and Frodo with their various interactions in the books and the movies, and is something that was actually aimed at during production of the films. When Jackson was filming, he did not shy away from their friendship at all, playing it as it was with no alterations. Quite the ideal, and it made certain parties rethink their idea on male relationships. Jackson did, however, leave out Sam's declarations of love for Frodo, which seemed wise as it would only give the "gay hobbit" argument more fuel.
Master and Servant
Some differences, perhaps? The master-servant relationship. Samwise is displayed much like a trained dog in the book. Eager to please, eager to follow orders. He does what he's told, right down to the letter. In the movie, though, a certain scene is very out of character for Sam. In the third movie, Samwise leaves because Gollum convinced Frodo to drive him away. This is actually quite out of character for both of them, as Sam would never leave Frodo with someone as, to put it bluntly, bonkers as Gollum is, and Frodo would never drive Sam away because Gollum told him not to trust him. Frodo is naturally more wealthy than Samwise, as the Baggins family is higher on the chain than the Gamgee family is. Does this make Frodo better in any way? No. Frodo is no fighter, does not have the bravery shown by Sam, and is only better read than Sam or the other hobbits. Sam does what he's told in the books, carrying more than his fair share of baggage in the earlier part of the book when they are set off for Buckleberry.
In the movie, Jackson tiptoed around the obvious difference of class between the hobbits, and didn't show much of a difference between the pair, making them seem as if they are in the same position financially and otherwise. With this in mind, Jackson leans away from anything that relates to class, save for a few small comments in the Fellowship of the Ring, such as "we Bagginses were very well thought of." Jackson also changes the "Master Frodo" of the book to "Mister Frodo" in the movie, further reinforcing that Sam was a friend, and not a servant, as the book had somewhat leaned towards.
To the point, Frodo is just a "normal" hobbit, drug into the mess with the ring by inheriting it. He isn't any braver than the other hobbits, and was always the most reserved of them. Sam is more so than him, as Sam gets up and does things more than Frodo does. Frodo isn't a "hero", or much of cinematic action star. He doesn't have the combat experience of the other members of the Fellowship, and doesn't have the wisdom of Gandalf or the elf, Legolas. Though Frodo's courage is shown clearly in three main points: His decision to take the ring to Rivendell, his offer to take the ring to Mordor, and his decision to leave the Fellowship and continue on his own to keep them from danger, which ironically they went in search of danger specifically for him by assaulting the Black Gates of Mordor.
With all of this in mind, these two characters, Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins, are quite the curious pair of hobbits with their own likes and dislikes, thoughts and methods, aspirations and goals. No two characters are alike. No two people are alike. Not in the exact term that something such as a suburb presents to society, where everything is the same. Not like Communism, where nobody is higher on the chain than another, or where no one has more money than another. This is literature. Fantasy writing where anything can take hold. With such a place, there are no limits. Why, in such a place, would you make any two things alike? Why would you want the same thing, over and over? Unless it would be for security reasons, sticking with what you know, using prior knowledge of the exact subject to help you get ahead. But where is the excitement of writing, of reading, if all is the same as the last?
Amazon Price: $119.98 $64.48 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 6, 2013)