“I made a promise, Mr Frodo. A promise. ‘Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee.’ And I don’t mean to!”
Once, in college, my friends and I were talking about which fictional character we’d most want to get with. I answered “Samwise Gamgee” and everybody laughed at first. Then, after I gave my reasons and summarized his protective interactions towards Frodo, everyone agreed with my reasoning despite maintaining that it was an unusual choice. Somehow, it’s the fact that their journey isn’t explicitly framed as romantic which makes it more special to me. It takes you by surprise, and wins you over by how sweet it is rather than how many cheesy power ballads, forced banter or doe eyes it can dress itself up in.
I’ve said for years how, if you rewrote it so they were openly gay, or one of them was a woman, it’d be the most beautiful love story ever told. There’s something special about bromances, be they platonic or overtly sexual. Frodo and Sam were always my faves. Maybe it’s because men are conditioned to be a lot more cold, stoic and aggressive so when you see some tenderness between them, it’s especially moving. They’ve thrown off society’s restrictive code of conduct when they found it didn’t allow them to express their true feelings.
When Sam comes back for Frodo and fights Shelob, and when Sam gives that beautiful speech about the “stories that mattered” in Two Towers I find myself close to tears, which is more than any melodramatic Titanic-esque wish fulfillment romance could ever do. I love the way Sam selflessly carried Frodo up the mountain, how he pulled Frodo up again from the crack of doom… You can’t not be moved by moments like those. Frodo and Sam weren’t great warriors like Legolas and Aragorn, they were average guys, bound together by the love of their fellow man and the fate that should befall them if Sauron were to win. Sam had the patience of a saint because he knew the burden Frodo carried, put up with his difficult tendencies, and loves him as a person.
“Glad to be with you, Sam. Here at the end of all things…”