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Old 03-01-2003, 04:54 PM   #16
Haunted Halfling
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: an uncounted length of steps--floating between air molecules
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Many people here believe Sam would be the best for the job, and I can say I could argue in his favor as well; but consider this: what is the route of the Ring to Sam's corruption? There always is a path, and I believe it is Sam's love for Frodo that would do him in, strange as that seems to be coming from my fingertips. If Frodo had died, Sam would go on in memory of Frodo, as he tried to do at the pass of Cirith Ungol. But I think the Ring would play on the loss of Frodo so hard that Sam would be disheartened as the Ring grew heavy upon him. I think he would despair as Frodo despaired and, in the end, he would wish much more strongly to join Frodo in death than for anyone's worldly quest. I fear the damage to Sam would be as great or greater than that done to Frodo. It is possible Sam could have made it to Mount Doom and cast the Ring in, but only with himself attached to it. It certainly would have killed him. Without Frodo, Sam with the Ring upon him would be dead in spirit in due time, and given the chance, dead in fact.

I would say that Sam's choices at Cirith Ungol are motivated not only from love of Frodo, but also from the fear of losing Frodo. This fear is what the Ring can play on in Sam's mind. Certainly he considers turning Mordor into a great garden spot, but without Frodo, it would mean nothing.

So, yes, Sam could do it without Frodo, but with the added burden of the Ring upon him, Sam is as good as destroyed.

The question of Merry and Pippin: would they make good companions for Sam sans Frodo? It is hard to say; they were not nearly so close to him and the relationship is not as strong, but I can see Merry and Pippin pledging themselves to this cause with as much solemnity as they pledged themselves to Theoden and Denethor. I have great faith in Pippin to recognize madness and its dangers, and to act quickly to counteract them, despite his seeming foolishness. He could have kept a handle on Sam when, not if, he went mad. And Merry is VERY good with directions; I think he could have guided them into Mordor without Gollum (but I'd think much more tentatively and possibly with help from Faramir's men).

These are just a few thoughts of mine. I hate to think of poor Sam destroyed by the Ring. Somehow it is even worse a thought than what actually happens to Frodo. Thanks for your indulgence!

“…she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.”
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