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Old 07-30-2012, 04:58 AM   #1
Boromir88
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Movie Characters Revisited: Samwise

Finally, we're back, and can get on with Sam's thread now. Apologies for the lengthy delay.

There's just a couple things I wanted to point out with Sam. It's mainly over the decisions/route the films seemed to be taking with Sam's character. Of course, we can continue one with the infamous "Go Home" and Sam's part in it.

But, a review of LOTR (the books) had me wondering about Peter Jackson's (and Sean Astin's) portayal of Sam. Edmund Wilson states:
Quote:
For the most part such characterizations as Dr. Tolkien is able to contrive are perfectly stereotyped: Frodo the good little Englishman, Samwise, his dog-like servant., who talks lower-class and respectful, and never deserts his master. These characters who are no characters are involved in interminable adventures the poverty of invention displayed in which is, it seems to me, almost pathetic.
(emphasis mine)

Several thoughts spring to mind here. I think first, Mr. Wilson seems to suggest "dog-like" in a negative way here. That Sam's dog-like loyalty and servitude to Frodo is repulsive. It's rather interesting, considering how much I love dogs. Although, calling a person a dog would probably be taken as an insult, even if you want to compliment the person for their loyalty.

So, this leads to, do you think the Jackson made Sam "dog-like" in the films? Or is it a good thing he stayed away from it, if he did?

Then the 2nd bolded word, servant. Do we get a sense that there is a class system in The Shire? And Sam is Frodo's servant.

I mean I know you have the exchange:
"What are you his bodyguard?"
"His gardener!"
*uproarious laughter*
But, I'm really curious if Jackson stayed away from clearly separating Sam and Frodo on the class level? If so, was it a wise decision?
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Last edited by Boromir88; 07-30-2012 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
Ninde Lossehelin
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Sam will always be known as Frodo's *helper* (forgive me for the term) but also as a hero in the trilogy.
As Frodo said "Frodo wouldn't have gotten far without Sam" so he acknowledges the importance of Sam.

Sam's loyalty has everything to do with Gandalf's order to him to never leave Frodo. And also with Sam's respect for Frodo..

But i can see the 'servant-like' acts by how he carries everything calls Frodo Mr. Frodo but the relationship between the two is the highest form of friendship and can never be a Servant-Master relationship.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninde Lossehelin View Post
Sam will always be known as Frodo's *helper* (forgive me for the term) but also as a hero in the trilogy.
As Frodo said "Frodo wouldn't have gotten far without Sam" so he acknowledges the importance of Sam.

Sam's loyalty has everything to do with Gandalf's order to him to never leave Frodo. And also with Sam's respect for Frodo..

But i can see the 'servant-like' acts by how he carries everything calls Frodo Mr. Frodo but the relationship between the two is the highest form of friendship and can never be a Servant-Master relationship.
Agreed. Also I don't think "dog-like" is an insult. Depends how the word is used. Frodo's dog like determination is same as Sam's, in many ways. The only difference is Sam is loyal to one person while Frodo is to the world. Reverse the roles-- Sam's the Ring-bearer, Frodo his helper. Sam understands his duty and does it with a dog like determination. Is that bad? Hell no. Frodo helps Sam thinking he can't bear the burden that Sam is carrying, but he wants to save his friend and his home; he'd do this service with a dog-like determination. That ain't bad either.
Frodo and Sam's relationship, imo, is the most beautiful thing in the book(also in the movies), it doesn't reflect a master-servant relationship, rather, it's more like brotherly, a parent-child relationship.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:24 PM   #4
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Sam Gamgee is indeed a lower-class, rustic, servant of Frodo. He seems spun from the same cloth as Sancho Panza (compared to Don Quixote) or perhaps better, Papageno (compared to Timano) in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Tolkien does not at first seem to be putting him out as anything but the comic hobbit on the quest.

Only gradually does Tolkien reveal that there is more to Sam then that. On the way to Crickhollow Pippin shouts out: “Sam! Get breakfast ready for half-past nine. Have you got the bath-water hot?” Pippin is similarly inconsiderate to Sam in this remarks once they get to Crickhollow [emphasis mine]: “Sam is an excellent fellow, and would jump down a dragon’s throat to save you, if he did not trip over his own feet first …” Tolkien himself seems to hold to this picture of the funny, bumbling rustic who is not very bright. When the other hobbits have strange dreams at Tom Bombadil’s house, Tolkien distinguishes Sam from the others, writing [emphasis mine], “As far as he could remember, Sam slept through the night in deep content, if logs are contented.”

So one is apparently to see Sam as the humorous servant, faithful, but with not much upstairs, mainly a source of comic relief.

But Tolkien begins to show more to Sam even in the beginning. Twice Sam surprises the other hobbits by bringing out a bit of verse, first the song “The Troll”, which is apparently his own invention, and then the lay “Gil-galad was an Elvish king” which Sam had taught himself when he had heard it from Bilbo years ago.

And later it is Pippin, not Sam, who places all the Fellowship in danger when Pippin unthinkingly tosses a stone into a well in Moria and rouses the Orcs and the Balrog.

By the end of the story Sam has arguably replaced Frodo as the hero of the tale. Sam becomes Frodo’s heir and master of Bag End and becomes Mayor of the Shire for seven consecutive terms of seven years.

In the books Sam always calls Frodo “Mister Frodo” and never just plain “Frodo” as if he were class equals. Mostly the same in the films. Some commentators on both books and films find this annoying. In both books and in films Sam is clearly Frodo’s servant, not a class equal as are Merry and Pippin.

Last edited by jallanite; 06-26-2014 at 05:10 PM.
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