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What Gandalf Meant When He Said That Thing To Frodo who will learn this lesson and help to stop others from falling into the same trap. Gandalf, Frodo's friend and advisor and one of the most powerful figures .. to the Ring, constantly before him, he could hardly help knowing it. I wondered how Gandalf's relationship with Bilbo and Frodo differed. and guide (always staying and helping with as much patience as he.
I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe, unused. That is how it would begin. But it would not stop with that, alas! The Ring therefore must be carried by someone who is not powerful. This is not to say that the Ring will not influence him—it influences anyone who keeps it and even many of those who simply come near it. Yet paradoxically, as the quotations above show, the humbler and less powerful the Ring-bearer is, the less influence it will have over him.
The Ring is a constant temptation to power, playing on the desire for greatness of those who carry it. In this story, those who already possess power are more vulnerable to it—more likely to think that they deserve it and will use it wisely—than someone like Frodo, who has never known what it is like to have power or envisioned himself as a great leader. Critics Joseph Pearce and Bradley J. Birzer take the analysis a step further: Although Tolkien always insisted that his work was no allegory, it makes sense that, with the Christian myth at the center of his thinking, he would have chosen a task for his hero that paralleled the task given to the hero of the gospel story.
A group has been chosen to go with Frodo, but he slips away from them and goes off accompanied only by Sam, for fear of endangering the rest of the company or seeing them corrupted by the Ring, as one of them already has been. The first half of The Two Towers follows the other members of the group as they prepare for war against the enemy, while the second half is devoted to the journey of Frodo, Sam, and their deceitful guide, Gollum.
Much the same thing happens in The Return of the King, the final book, except that there the two groups come together again in the end. Tolkien uses this structure to communicate a major point: While the first half of each book is full of mighty deeds performed by kings, knights, and wizards, we know all along that at best they can only distract the enemy from interfering with the essential task: If he should fail and Sauron recover the Ring, all they have done is for nothing.
On the one hand, the whole world is going to the war; the story rings with galloping hoofs, trumpets, steel on steel. On the other, very far away, miserable figures creep like mice on a slag heap through the twilight of Mordor.
And all the time we know the fate of the world depends far more on the small movement than on the great. Lewis88 Roger Schlobin puts it even more strongly: Several critics have picked up on this theme and its connection to the Christian teaching of the exaltation of the humble.
The high-mindedness of classical platonism was anathema to Augustine: He, on the other hand, took the suffering Christ as a model for true wisdom. This emphasis on the wisdom of suffering and humility is reflected in the kind of hero Tolkien chose in The Lord of the Rings—not one of the highest creatures in his imagined world. This point was made by Tolkien himself, before The Lord of the Rings was published: The Will of the Hero Jane Chance Nitzsche, for one, believes that they make Frodo into a different kind of hero entirely.
After briefly describing an article Tolkien wrote examining a similar conflict of values in Beowulf, Chance writes quoting Patricia Meyer Spacks: Aragorn may represent the Christian hero as Frodo and Sam represent the more Germanic hero of the subordinate warrior, yet all three remain epic heroes. Bearing the Ring means that Frodo must fight constantly the temptation to claim it for his own and gain its power for himself.
Two examples demonstrate this pattern.
Near the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, for example, he barely avoids discovery by Sauron, who can see him when he puts it on: He heard himself crying out: Verily I come, I come to you?
He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Fool, take it off! Take off the ring! The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: He took the Ring off his finger. He felt, more urgent than ever before, the command that he should put on the Ring.
There was no longer any answer to that command in his own will, dismayed by terror though it was, and he felt only the beating upon him of a great power from outside. It took his hand, and as Frodo watched with his mind, not willing it but in suspense as if he looked on some old story far awayit moved the hand inch by inch towards the chain upon his neck. Then his own will stirred; slowly it forced the hand back. But again, as Tolkien mentioned in the letter quoted above, this power plays a strictly behind-the-scenes role in the story.
Divine guidance as the Christian reader would understand it is in short supply. More than fighting the enemy, he is fighting himself. This is another theme that critics have recognized as crucial. In tracing the development of Frodo as hero, Nitzsche marks the passage quoted earlier from Fellowship as the point where she believes he truly becomes a hero: If we accept this premise, it fits in with the idea of Frodo as Christian hero, but it still leaves us with the problem of the role of the will.
More than that, we come right up against the problem that has faced so many Tolkien critics studying Christian elements in the story: An Incomplete Christ Figure At this point, it is essential to look at this climactic scene in full—first noting two things.
First, the scene occurs after both Frodo and Sam, meeting with Gollum again after a long separation, have spared his life even though he had betrayed them and left them for dead. The scene unfolds as follows: He was come to the heart of the realm of Sauron and the forges of his ancient might, greatest in Middle-Earth; all other powers were here subdued.
Then Frodo stirred and spoke with a clear voice. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine! Something struck Sam violently in the back, his legs were knocked from under him and he was flung aside. Sam was nine years old then, and Frodo was twelve years his senior. He could have viewed Frodo as an older brother or even idolize him — like young boys look to teenagers just because they are older, stronger and daring. Tolkien never directly describes what his duties were, but from the later talk of his hobbit friends we can assume he did more than only gardening, which by that time had become only his minor job.
For example, since on their walk through the country Pippin once refers to Sam about the readiness of breakfast, it is apparent that preparing meals was also in his scope of work. Simply put, Sam was a man of many parts — he did everything for Frodo, though not yet in as great a degree as later.
Aristotle claims that the pleasure friendship arises from selfishness, and as the naming signifies, it is based on pleasure and beauty. It is born of physical or intellectual attraction and dies when the friend changes and ceases to be pleasant or nice to look at. The self-centeredness of such friendship means that I enjoy myself more when I am with my friend.
Pleasure friendship is most closely tied to emotions. It is characterized by a quick start and a quick end. It is typically maintained by young people who are easily driven by their momentary feelings.
But what is it that makes a servant, a mere gardener, so devoted to his master? It is love, his love for Frodo. And love is an essential sign of friendship, for as the philosopher claims, friendship is actually one of the different kinds of love. Moreover, his admiration for Frodo is very similar to present day worship of the leaders of certain social groups by young people, and that is an exact example of friendship of pleasure as understood by Aristotle.
Likewise, Sam loved Frodo because his personality attracted him. He has ever thought him the wisest and kindest person in the world. He enjoyed serving him, because seeing Frodo happy made him happy, too.
However, here someone may object as to whether this is not also typical for the friendship of virtue — the true friendship. It may seem so, since even Aristotle claims that these two kinds of friendship are much alike NE, book VIII, chapter 6but it has not been put through any struggle yet to test its strength; in peace everything is easier. The friendship seemed rather one-sided.
Frodo and Sam’s Relationship in the Light of Aristotle’s Philia
Therefore, the friendship of pleasure fits it better. Frodo, being an orphan whose parents died when he was twelve years old, and who had been raised up by relatives who did not like him much because of his origin, must have felt lonely and neglected until his younger cousins grew up.
The Brandybucks, with whom he lived until Bilbo adopted him, disliked him because he was a Baggins like his father, coming from the western part of Shire. For the Hobbits living in the east part, such as Brandybucks who belonged to the breed called Stoors with a strong Fallohidish strain still to be noted within them, as they often claimed found the Hobbits from the western part belonging rather to Harfoots, as the Bagginses presumably were 1to be queer, and vice versa.
Therefore, even the Hobbits from Hobbiton where Frodo moved, did not really accept him. And their distrust was even greater because of the strange behavior of his uncle and his adventures. In any case, it was not easy for him to make friends. Consequently, he must have enjoyed the attendance he received in Bag End from Sam.Why did Frodo have to leave Middle Earth? and other questions
He must have been pleased that for a change someone admired him, in contrast with the suspicion of others. Yet his relationship to Sam was cooler. Even though he treated him in a friendly way, from his point of view it was still more a master-servant relationship. This might also have been caused by the age gap between them, but when we consider the age of his other friends, most of them were even younger than Sam, so this could have had only a minor impact.
Anyway, at this stage Frodo did not openly acknowledge Sam to be his friend. Unlike Sam, who seems to have no other known close friends except maybe the Cottons brothers, but we do not know how close they really wereFrodo had several.
His dearest friend, whom he loved the most, was definitely Bilbo because they were so much alike. However, being from older and richer families, Sam recognized them as superior. But Frodo never named Sam as his friend individually, only collectively as a member of the conspiracy.
The utility friendship is based on usefulness. A man makes friends with someone when he needs something from him. Its aim is primarily profit. Therefore, such friendship lasts only while the other person provides one with what is needed.
Aristotle says that this type of friendship is most typical for young children or old weak people, who cannot care for themselves on their own and need others to help them. However, it is not restricted only to these ages.
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien - The One Ring
It can, of course, occur in other periods of human life, too. Frodo needs or merely accepts his services, even though some of them he would be able to do on his own. Sam is a useful helper. The philosopher exemplifies this kind of friendship by the relationship of host and guest NE, book VIII, chapter 3which is like a short-term equivalent of the master-servant relationship.
For even if people who pursue friendship because of utility called the object of their need a friend, it would not be meant sincerely.
But by this I do not want to say that Frodo was selfish, only that is was not necessary for him to call Sam his friend when his relationship to him was not so deep yet. But in spite of his somewhat cooler attitude, sometimes Frodo already showed some deeper concern about Sam, as he did for his friends, which would not be expected from a master towards his servant were their relationship only formal.
For instance, after their first meeting with Elves in the Shire, he doubted whether it was good idea to take him along when he knew his journey led only through peril. Well, after all those years spent with him around and knowing what a big affection Sam had for him, it was natural that his relationship to him grew into something more than only a utility friendship.
Development of Their Relationship during the War of the Ring As the story proceeded, we see that their relationship slowly changed. Since they were bound to spend whole days together and rely on each other in pursuit of their quest, such change is natural and only to be expected. Their intimacy increased and their mutual affection was strengthened by all the struggles they went through. Yet the change is not the same on both sides.
The journey provided an opportunity for him to show his care for his master in a new way, unlimited by the peaceful environment of their home and everyday duties. As has been explained, his relationship to Frodo was a friendship of pleasure, for he took pleasure in helping Frodo, being around him and serving him. Sometimes it may even seem that although younger in age, Sam cared about him like a parent cares for a child.
From the very beginning he watched anxiously over his security and wellbeing. The purpose of everything he did was to help Frodo as much as he could, and this carried on throughout the story.
As he said, he would never mean any harm to Frodo. So even if he did something that he first perceived as contradictory to his love, like when he joined the conspiracy with Pippin and Merry to spy on Frodo, or when he was eavesdropping on his talk with Gandalf, it was only with the best intentions.
This happened in the beginning because he was a simple, inexperienced person; until this time he had never traveled farther than twenty miles away from his home.
But later, as he became more aware of life behind the borders of his little country, he realized that a merciful lie or concealment of the truth was harmless and even necessary if he did not want to trouble his master.
So he often used it as they neared Mordor; for instance, when he did not speak the truth about their dwindling food or that he saved his share for Frodo. After this he somehow felt responsible for Frodo. And partially from this promise, in combination with his devotion to his master, there results a determination to follow Frodo no matter what, and his already mentioned willingness to give his life for him, although yet he had no clear idea what peril may await them.
Nonetheless, he made a pact with himself to never leave his master, motivated by some unidentifiable inner feeling that he has to do something before the end. He confessed it when Frodo, after considering that he should not lead his friend into unknown danger but rather go on his own because the Ring is his alone, indirectly offered him a chance to rethink his decision and stay in the Shire.
I never mean to. Sam even implemented this literally when he actually accompanied Frodo everywhere he went. This statement was the first open demonstration of his conviction, and though it is evidently a motivation of all his doings, it manifested itself in two more situations that were crucial for the subsequent development of the plot. In the former case, he could have stayed in Rivendell with Elves, since until now meeting them has been his greatest dream and also the original though only assumed reason of his coming with Frodo, or rest there for some time and then return to Hobbiton.
But although he had already gained some notion of how dangerous this journey will be, he preferred to go on. Similarly, in the second case he had a chance for a better destiny than to plod through dying land, starving, straight into the hands of enemy.
By now he was well aware of all the peril. He could have chosen an easier way and gone to Minas Tirith with Boromir and Aragorn At this point of time Sam did not know what happened to the rest of the Fellowship until he was reunited with them after the completion of the quest, and believed that the remaining seven would go to Gondor, since at least the men intended so from the beginning.
Nevertheless, he insisted on following his master, and when Frodo seemed to ignore him, he did not hesitate to jump into water to stop him, even though he could not swim. But while in general his determination proved to be a lucky decision, in one instance it almost meant a definite end to the quest and an absolute disaster for the whole Middle-earth. It was in the passage of Cirith Ungol at the border of Mordor, when he thought his master dead after he had been poisoned by Shelob the giant spider.
He knew that he had to resume the quest. But even more hazardous was his resolution to go to the orc tower full of enemies and save his master when he found out he was only paralyzed. Had he left Frodo to his own fortune and centered only on the task, the quest might have been completed earlier and maybe more easily.
But his love for Frodo was bigger than his moral obligation to the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. Another quality that the journey revealed in Sam, which is closely related to his overall conviction, is vigilance. He became watchful and suspicious of every stranger from the very beginning, and its level remained constant throughout the entire story.
While the other two younger hobbits developed their sense of wariness only slowly, with Sam it seems to come up as soon as they left Bag End. But he actually proved right with Gollum. It began with the stubborn resolution that if anyone meant any harm to Frodo, he should first fight with him.
But since it had not yet come to a direct confrontation with enemies, and there is no any evidence of them fighting with the Black Riders at Weathertop, it is not certain whether he would really be able to strike or give way to fear. But later, when Frodo was in immediate danger, he forgot his own fears or limitations, like in the scene at the Gate of Moria when Sam remained the only one with clear senses, not paralyzed by fear, and slashed the tentacle that grasped Frodo and tried to pull him underwater.
It has been already noted that at the beginning he thought him to be the best and cleverest person in the world. However, by the time they reached Mordor, he admitted that Frodo was not always perfect and he not only found some of his decisions wrong, but no longer hesitated to show his disagreement openly. Certainly, their opinions differed the most regarding whether or not to keep Gollum as their guide. But in spite of this change, they have become closer and more intimate than they were before the journey.
Sam was still aware of the social difference between him and Frodo and recognized himself as inferior, yet even in this can be spotted a slight difference. Until their stay in Rivendell, he used it more frequently than after the forming of the Fellowship of the Ring. So it is clear that his relationship to Frodo has developed from mere friendship of pleasure into a deeper friendship.
Frodo, preoccupied by his burden of the Ring, did not much openly manifest what Sam meant to him, so it appears as if his attitude has not developed. However, the contrary is true.
He knew that he might die in the attempt to accomplish the quest and he did not want this for his friends, including Sam. He did not want them to suffer because of him and his unfortunate heirloom. Therefore he tried to dissuade them from the journey twice before his departure from the Shire.
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien - The One Ring • Information
First, it was during the earlier mentioned situation when he discussed it only with Sam, and then in the house in Crickhollow when the conspiracy was unmasked. Yet, he did not make much effort to deter them from coming with him. The reason for this is probably that he was afraid to go on his own. He was actually happy that he did not have to face the peril alone. This shows that the level of concern for his friends was rather low. Had he wholly apprehended how dangerous he and the Ring was for them, he would not trouble himself with explaining it and would rather steal out secretly in the night, probably even leaving Sam behind.
Also, Galadriel was one of the leaders of the group of Elves who defied the Valar, and left Valinor to make war on Morgoth and recover the Silmarils as detailed in the Silmarillion. As far as the Valar were concerned, Galadriel was still in disgrace, and they would not have wanted her advice. Thank you for the answer! It's a conjecture of course, but I think it's a strong one. Each would have almost certainly been aware that the other carried one, and this gives them a stronger connection that Galadriel would not have had with e.
Dec 14 '14 at Bear in mind that Gandalf was entrusted with Narya on arrival at the Havens before Saruman made his especial study. And somehow it's about the Lady Galadriel again While I'd originally agreed with the answer by Ernst W. Adams another Tolkienite I regard very highly and his sentiment that Elvish marriages were unshakeable something I still stand by and that Gandalf and Galadriel were merely friends and comrades in arms.
However, upon reading Thomas' answer I had a bit of a change of heart, which I'll try to lay out here. And while this may be an unpopular opinion I'll try to provide sources where Thomas hadn't.