“There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true)” wrote J.R.R. Tolkien, “in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow.”
This quote is proven true in the relationship of Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings. They find and inspire courage in one another, even when up against the darkest task of all ages. As today is “National Hobbit Day,” what better way to honor the occasion than by showing the mettle that hobbits are made of through our favorite power couple? Here are the nine reasons why we ship this encouraging pair throughout the series.
1. the way they look at one another
2. They accept the other as they are
It’s always exciting when getting to know your partner on a deeper level. Learning their likes, dislikes, favorites and flaws; a journey in itself. And Frodo and Sam experience this while undergoing the greatest adventure of their lives. Here they are, just after a night of fitful sleep, covered in dirt and looking their worst- living out of caves for a year will do this to you- yet they still respect one another.
3. They protect one another
“Mr. Frodo’s not going anywhere without me!” –The Fellowship of the Ring
Sam shouts this out at the council of Elrond, giving away his hiding place where he’d been keeping a close eye on Frodo. The onlookers scoff at the absurdity of a hobbit dashing from the bushes, but this fierceness that they find so comical is the same fervor in which Sam continues to protect Frodo throughout their expedition. Not only does he vow to protect Frodo from orcs and evil (and his efforts are so earnest that even Faramir calls him Frodo’s “bodyguard”), but he cares for his general health and mental state as well. He makes sure Frodo get his sleep and eats well (those pots and pans he carries aren’t just for show). And Frodo protects Sam in return, saving him from drowning in the river during his solo attempt to escape the fellowship.
4. They allow faults
“It’s me. It’s your Sam. Don’t you know your Sam?” – The Two Towers
In Osgiliath, Frodo is swept up in the madness of the ring and stands before the Witch-king on its winged beast. Sam then intercepts Frodo right as he’s about to put on the ring of power. Lost in a blind rage, Frodo wrestles Sam to the ground and points his Sword at his throat. It’s moments fraught with hazard and pain that show who they really are to one another. “It’s your Sam,” is not only said by Sam to awaken Frodo to his actions, or even to claim that he belongs to him. In this gentle plea, Sam also shows how forgiving he is of Frodo. Nothing shows sincerity and true affection as much as forgiveness, and Sam gives this to him even though he sees the worst sides of Frodo wrought by the corruption of the ring. He’s shouted at, demeaned, blamed, and even his life is threatened… but he understands Frodo’s plight and cares for him regardless.
5. They encourage one another
When Frodo and Sam arrive close enough to see the fiery tips of Mordor, it finally dawns on them that this is a journey from which they will not return. And when Frodo almost gives up hope, Sam- ever the encourager- assures him that he has something to hold onto, and someone to rely on.
When everything they know has been forever altered, Sam steps forward as a beacon of life, love and light. And Frodo admires Sam’s ability to see the positives in the darkest of situations. He needs him for that, as much as he needs him for his friendship, his protection, and his presence.
“Nothing ever dampens your spirits, does it Sam?” – The Two Towers
6. Their Selfless Acts
“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” – The Return of the King
When Frodo can’t hold onto hope any longer, and when the ring becomes too heavy a burden for him to carry, Sam carries him. Struggling to stumble up Mount doom, with the fires of Mordor burning so close that they reflect in his eyes, Sam takes Frodo’s mission on as his own. He gives every last effort he has, and everything that he is. When two bodies are of one mind and destiny, giving up is not an option.
7. They save one another, time after time
“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.” –The Fellowship of the Ring
From Frodo saving Sam from drowning at the onset of their journey, to Sam hoisting Frodo out of the fiery chasm in which their quest ends, they are there for one another, even at the bitter end.” The nearly impossible quest to destroy the one ring could not have been accomplished without their combined pains, and they could not have survived on their own without the other.
8. They’re grateful for one another
“I’m glad to be with you Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things.” – The Return of the King
The sheer fact that Frodo and Sam travel all the way across Middle Earth, and share such a life-threatening yet life-changing experience together, is in itself a momentous feat. And once the ring and Sauron are destroyed, when fire and magma are spraying around them, it’s not only significant that Frodo doesn’t feel alone at what he deems must be the end, but he is grateful that Sam is the one to look on this bleak and triumphant day with him.
9. They love one another
The love between Sam and Frodo stretches beyond the constraints between The Shire and The Undying Lands. Without their bond, one would have drowned in water, and the other in fire. Together, they trekked across Middle Earth until the Great Eagles of the air returned them to safety. Theirs is a love that will outlive even the memory of the horrors they overcame together.
One need only look at how Frodo and Sam speak with, and regard, one another to see the love between them. After everything they endure at one another’s side, they are unashamed to show how much closer and more affectionate they have grown. After Frodo says farewell to his dearest friends, Merry and Pippin, whom were part of the fellowship, he reserves this tender goodbye for Sam. In this gentle kiss, he honors their relationship, all they have shared, and all that will always be.