What Sort Of Tale?

Sean Astin As Samwise Gamgee in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
Sean Astin As Samwise Gamgee in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

My husband and I are currently re-watching the The Lord of The Rings movies. My favorite character has always been Samwise Gamgee. I admire his faithfulness, courage, loyalty, steadfastness, and absolute perserverance–character traits I wish I had more of. Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the books and movies. They encourage me every time I read them or hear them. I hope they will do the same for you.

Sam: It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.


But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think  that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually–their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on–and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same–like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in!  I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?”


“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

By J.R.R. Tolkien; The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

Original Content: Copyright © 2013 by Susan E. Johnson
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