It`s me. It`s your Sam. Don`t you know your Sam?Sam
On the edge of a knife
Sam tackles Frodo at the precise moment the fell beast`s claws approach the Ring. They tumble together down the same stairs that brought Frodo on top of the wall in the first place. As doom appears to have been avoided, for the moment at least, another danger presents itself.
Frodo draws his sword as quickly as a well-skilled swordsman, places its tip onto Sam`s throat with an infuriated expression on his face. It is clear from the enraged look in his eyes that Sam`s act is not considered as an act of goodwill.
For a good long while, there is not a doubt in sight that would sway Frodo from hurting Sam. A deliberate act of violence, an impulse reaction. So close to succumbing to the enemy, yet now so far away. Sam is to blame for this ill-fated attempt at a reunion, hence the sword at his throat. Sam is terrified of his friend, barely able to control his own emotions, tears start to fill his eyes.
A plea for life
He pleads with Frodo to recognize him. Frodo fails this and stares at Sam with a deranged look in his eyes, still unable to pull the sword away from Sam`s throat. With a rhetorical question, Sam`s last plea leaves his lips. He is fully aware that this might be the end of their journey together. He knows the influence of the Ring has reached its full potential.
If this last plea fails, he will die here, in Osgiliath, amongst strange folk. Within these ruins his name would forever be lost, his home forever forgotten and his life forever forfeit.
Return to reason
Thankfully, Sam`s question triggers Frodo`s moral compass. Without his eyes ever leaving Sam`s face, he snaps to the reality in front of him. Suddenly he recognizes Sam. Right at that moment of recognition, a wave of shock, disbelief, repulsion, and guilt washes over him. From an expression of pure rage, his face turns blank. There is a moment of complete stupefaction.
This isn`t me. This cannot be happening. What have I done? What am I doing? All these statements and questions seem to be emanating from him. He has lost control. To regain it and stop this madness, he moves away from Sam still in a stupor, leans against a wall and lets Sting fall to the ground.
The danger is over. What remains is a Hobbit, unable to comprehend his own actions, filled with guilt over his uncontrollable behavior and frozen with fear of the magnitude of influence the Ring.
I can`t do this Sam.Frodo
A fine conclusion of his actions. With all the emotions still coursing through him, he cannot but reflect upon his ability to finish his quest. This brush with his own doom and the doom of all Middle-Earth is but a taste of what he can expect from the rest of his journey. He is unable to resist the Ring, and although his resilience is strong, the power of the Ring is stronger than any integrity and innocence of heart.
The fact of the matter
I know. It`s all wrong. By rights, we shouldn`t even be here. But we are.Sam
This brush with death only proves Sam`s own outlook on their quest. He is well aware that his friend is not capable of accomplishing his task alone. However, he too finds himself failing in hope and encouragement. From the rolling hills and green meadows of the Shire, they have come to the battlefield of Osgiliath.
There cannot be a wider dichotomy of their surroundings and situations. They find themselves amidst an oncoming war in the world of Men, without anyone on their side besides themselves. No one can help them in their journey and no one would try. Even amongst their own company, Gollum tries to undermine and con them. They are all they have.
The great stories
It`s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn`t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it`s only a passing thing this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why.Sam
What Sam does is placing their journey amongst the great stories of darkness and peril. We all are told of these great stories of heroism, valor, honor and much toil. They all had a single purpose. Every character, no matter the size, had to go through a journey of self-discovery. They all had to find their courage and their hope in order to persevere, for there wasn`t much else they could have done.
Through the darkness and shadows, they fought their way to the other side. Although they survived and brought renewed hope to their world, the shadow left its mark on them. It would be almost impossible not to be affected by it. In order to grow, there is a certain amount of difficulty we have to overcome in order to discover the depth of our own strengths and traits we never knew we possessed.
All of those heroes were people like you and me. Since we are all born equal, there is no telling what we can achieve, any of us. The heroes in those stories went ahead with only a wish and a hope in their hearts. What they all achieved was nothing short of a miracle. These two Hobbits are well on their way to becoming more than they ever thought possible.
As Galadriel pointed out, “even the smallest person can change the course of the future”. Who is to say that we cannot do the same? Sam and Frodo are a perfect example of what a simple person is capable of achieving.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn`t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.Sam
They could have resigned and turned back, but their strong will to conquer evil kept them from doing so. They had to overcome their own fears and face their demons. Through this self-growth, they made it to the other side of despair.
What kept them going? Hope. The hope of a brighter future, the hope of returning home and seeing their loved ones and hope that all the good in this world will survive and grow when the darkness passes.
Frodo: “What are we holding on to, Sam?”
Sam: “That there`s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it`s worth fighting for.”
The “good” of this world could be many different things, depending on an individual`s point of view. What I consider good could be different than what other people think. As long as this “good” is something positive, and we keep reminding ourselves of it, there will be no place for shadows.
As Sam concludes his speech, Gollum`s reactions turn human. He is not a wretched creature at this moment, but a soulful person who realizes his own part in this story, albeit a malicious one. His eyes move slowly from Sam to the ground. He seems ashamed of himself and his actions, for he knows that his only desire was the possession of the Ring – in itself a vile need.
The hurt and pain he has inflicted upon the two Hobbits and the pain that is still to come, present themselves in a look of guilt. He has lost his own inner compass and cannot decipher good from evil. But now, in this one moment, he has gone beyond his own singular need and seen the bigger picture.
There may be nothing in his world he would consider good enough to fight for, for the integrity of character is only a concept to him now, one that escaped him long ago. Nevertheless, he can sympathize with Frodo and Sam and for one brief moment, he can understand their suffering.
His face shows a shadow of self-pity because of his inability to hold onto anything positive, any hope, but the return of the Ring. As uplifting as Sam`s speech is for himself and Frodo, Gollum cannot but feel an outsider in their reminiscing about what they consider the good in the world.
They have a home to come back to when all this is over, Gollum will always remain a homeless, pitiful, lonely creature forever bound by the Ring.
On to the third part, follow me.
Featured photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash.