Sam Gamgee the Hero

I’ve been putting up a few hero’s journeys on the List of Journeys this week. Alice in Wonderland, Simba the Lion King, Harry Potter, and Samwise Gamgee are there for the reading. A lot of them were submitted by students from Barnard Elementary, but Sam has been waiting for me to write for quite a while now.

Samwise tends to be overshadowed by Frodo as the centre of the story. He lacks the regal destiny of Aragorn. In the films he lacked the looks of Orlando Bloom. However, he truly exhibits heroic attributes throughout. Tolkien described him as the “chief hero” of the saga of the Ring – the quest would have failed it if wasn’t for Sam. He saved Frodo numerous times and even carried the Ring himself.

Ultimately the reason for Sam’s success is his adherence to his character. To his friendship. He shows courage and selflessness. He commits himself to protecting his friend Frodo and ultimately that commitment is more important to him than the Ring or the rest of the world. And that is his triumph.

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2 Responses to Sam Gamgee the Hero

  1. Herman Najoli June 20, 2007 at 8:47 am #

    ou say that “Ultimately the reason for Sam’s success is his adherence to his character”. I’ve been reading your Hero Workshops and I think you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the issue. Many people are famous but not necessarily heroes. Fame creates a reputation. Reputation is simply what people think about a person. Character is what the person really is. When it comes to human performance therefore, character is the bedrock of success and achievement. Reputation is what precedes a person while character is what outlasts the person. People who thrive on reputation have never really clarified who they are as individuals. Reputation changes but character does not. Reputation is like the shadow of a building. It moves in different directions throughout the day. Character on the other hand is like the building itself. It forever stays the same.

  2. Matt Langdon June 20, 2007 at 9:35 am #

    Thanks for your comments Herman. I agree about reputation – it comes and goes and is fickle. And it is rarely controlled by you. Character, on the other hand, is yours to control and it can’t be taken from you.

    I’ll be checking out your blog in depth soon. On first look it has some great content.

    Thanks again,
    Matt