While Sam is reintegrating hope into their journey with his speech, Faramir stands close by hearing his every word. After his near-death experience under the tip of the Sting, Sam is startled by Faramir`s presence. Since the Men appear to be a threat to them as their captors, it is only understandable Sam would react in this way. However, as he is about to discover, his speech did not only affect his little company.
Two races – one common goal
I think at last we understand one another, Frodo Baggins.Faramir
Men and two Hobbits, two sides of the same medallion. Two races fighting the same war. Frodo, Sam and Gollum`s journey has taken a slight detour, revealing their characters even further. The Men in doubt and despair over the destruction of Osgiliath, take no chances when a “weapon of the enemy” presents itself as potential leverage in their fight against evil. A misunderstanding ensues.
Thankfully, Sam`s speech raises the question of the common good and common purpose of both sides. Both sides, in their own way, struggle to preserve that which means most to them, their home, their country, and its inhabitants. Through the hardships they endured in their journeys, their level of hope began its demise.
Finally, the one common purpose unites the two races. Although fighting on different fronts, both battles impact their world equally. The Men defend their city with all their might, but against the enemy of such wrath and malice, there is a limit to their strengths. Frodo, Sam, and Gollum battle their own way through emotional minefields.
They cannot equal the Men’s physical strength, but their own fight drains their emotional batteries and character strength. Both fronts may be fighting a losing battle. However, the hope of a brighter tomorrow keeps them moving forward in a world that is quickly being wrapped into shadow.
The power of our thoughts
Once we are ensconced in the negativity of a particular situation, or in their case on the brink of war, there is little left to see as positive. The mind begins to accumulate only negative thoughts, delving ever deeper into its content and meaning. The more we think about them, the more we change our own behavior. The world becomes a nemesis, nothing seems to make sense and the feeling of surrender overtakes our whole inner world.
When we find ourselves in this kind of emotional monopole, there is little to shine a light on that which is important, which stays forever true: to find hope in such a bleak perspective in a critical moment is a treasure in itself. Moreover, to have it be heard by the “opposing side” and understood as a common good, can do much more than any form of agreement.
Madril: “You know the laws of our country, the laws of your father. If you let them go, your life will be forfeit.”
Faramir: “Then it is forfeit. Release them.”
The greatest revelation of all. To forfeit one’s own life to give hope a chance is the biggest sacrifice of all. Faramir finally understands, and moreover, believes in the quest that was handed to these two Hobbits. He can now see their goal is the same as his own. Therefore, to provide a bigger chance at defeating the enemy, he lets the Hobbits continue their journey. What this means for him, is of course, nothing positive.
However, in his own eyes that fill up with tears with merely a thought of his impending death, he is positive that this decision of his will serve a greater good, one that he might not be able to witness. This doesn`t worry him though, for he has followed his own moral compass and given in to his own inner world.
Faramir`s mind may have persuaded him to bring the little company to Osgiliath because this would please his father, and maybe helped improve their relationship. But, in all honesty, his heart was never in it. I would even say that his heart was fighting his mind for domination of his actions, and it finally won.
There is a calmness that washes over us when we make a decision based on our instincts, listening to our “little voices”. It is a sense of righteousness and a clear conscience. Whatever the consequences of these decisions may be, they could never undermine the feeling of doing the “right thing”.
Even though Faramir`s decision brings a fatal consequence to his own life, his conscience is at peace, knowing he aided in the fight against evil.
Sam: “Captain Faramir, you have shown your quality, sir. The very highest.”
Faramir: “The Shire must truly be a great realm, Master Gamgee where gardeners are held in high honor.“
Here we get an insight into the difference between the two races. Men consider gardeners as their servants in a way, people of lower honor. The world of Men is more than known to us. I would say that judging a person for what he works as is not one of our qualities, however, it does happen. This was much more prominent before my time, but nevertheless, it is still alive today.
Although it is wrong, I believe it acts as an eliminatory device. If someone`s job is not to our liking we immediately discard that person, lose interest in getting to know them as an individual. To learn to value others equally only depends on the openness we hold in our hearts. Respect and trust are earned. Therefore, every person should be given a chance to show their quality, because, in the end, that is the only thing that matters.
The Hobbits divide their duties equally and everyone is held in high esteem. They each have their unique talents that contribute to their community. The Hobbits don`t classify each other on account of their work, which is something from which we could all benefit.
A secret path
Frodo: “Gollum says there`s a path near Minas Morgul that climbs up into the mountains.”
Faramir: “Cirith Ungol? Is that its name?”
Gollum: “No. No. Yes.”
Faramir: “Frodo, they say a dark terror dwells in the passes above Minas Morgul. You cannot go that way.”
Gollum: “It is the only way. Master says we must go to Mordor, so we must try.”
Frodo: “I must.”
Faramir: “Go, Frodo. Go with the goodwill of all Men.”
Frodo: “Thank you.”
Faramir: “May death find you quickly if you bring them to harm.”
Frodo and Sam are finally in accordance with Faramir. There is no animosity between them anymore. The little company is released from captivity and preparing to continue their journey to Mordor. The path to reach said place, is not to be taken lightly.
Faramir is aware there is something in the tunnels of Cirith Ungol that will hinder their passage. However, the true nature of the beast is not yet revealed, for Faramir knows only of tales. The reality of that place had not yet been explored by him or his Men, but still, the stories give caution to those whose it is the only way to their goal.
Gollum, of course, knows very well who, or what awaits them in those tunnels. Which is precisely why he initially denies the name of the place to which he is taking the two Hobbits. However, pressed against the wall and held by the neck tends to bring the truth out of anyone.
Gollum`s innocent demeanor and his honest reasoning for taking the two Hobbits to Cirith Ungol is drawn out of him. Under threat of death, Gollum becomes Sméagol, a people-pleaser only there to help the two poor Hobbits find their way.
Sam: “Mr. Frodo didn`t mean for them Rangers to hurt you. You know that, don`t you? He was trying to save you, see?”
Gollum: “Save me?”
Gollum, or rather Sméagol at the time, certainly didn`t understand Frodo`s actions as protective. Sméagol felt betrayed by his friend and master, which in turn caused him to switch to his Gollum persona. Now, however, Sam gives him a pause for thought. What if Frodo really did want to save him, and it got away from him? What if he really did care for him?
In this one moment, Gollum could have contemplated these very questions. However, the question he poses to Sam is somewhat rhetorical and sarcastic. It comes out as if it were something unbelievable. It is clear that he can`t even consider Sam`s reasoning, given his altered state of mind.
A sense of fairness
Sam: “So there`s no hard feelings. Forgive and forget.”
Gollum: “No, no, no hard feelings. Gollum, Gollum. Nice master. Nice Hobbits.”
Sam: “Very decent of you. Very decent, indeed, Gollum.”
Gollum manages to deceive Sam into thinking he believed his assumption. His cough, however, proves he is unyielding in his belief that Frodo intentionally betrayed him. Sam believes Gollum`s sincerity and praises him on his decency.
This would be the first and last time, Sam behaves that way towards Gollum. For fear of deception from Gollum, Sam in a way apologizes for his friend and for himself. He doesn`t want Gollum thinking anything bad about them thereby giving him no reason to distrust them and put them in harm`s way.
It could be that Sam feels terrible about what the Men unjust treatment of Gollum, and wants to make sure Gollum knew that Frodo had nothing to do with it. It could also be that Sam felt pity for this creature for one moment. Unfairness is something Sam is very good at spotting and it enrages him.
Therefore, to apply this principle to a creature he loathes is a very nice thing for him to do. It shows the quality of his character – he stays true to his principles of fairness no matter how wretched the person or the creature in question might be.
Frodo, Sam, and Gollum continue their journey in my next post. Follow me…
Featured image by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay.