Could Sam have done it?

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Brandywine74 29/Dec/2006 at 08:44 PM
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I was wondering if Sam would have been able to go all the way and destroy  the ring if need be? If Shelob had killed Frodo or had he been taken straight to the Barad-Dur or killed outright by the Orcs. When Sam took the ring, would he have been able to make it to Mount Doom and throw in the ring.

I doubt if he would have been able to make it to the Mountain at all. The amount of times Frodo and Sam rely on each other is so many, I just don’t think he would have got there himself even though the effect of the ring wouldn’t have been as strong as Sam had it for less time. What do others think?

Telmar 30/Dec/2006 at 02:35 AM
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Nice question, personally I don’t think he would have made it. I agree that the friendship was so strong and this was the only reason (in my opinion) that they got so far. I think Sam would have the necessary willpower, but I feel that Gollum would have been far too wily for Sam on his own and would have taken him out before he got to Orodruin.
OriNori 30/Dec/2006 at 02:35 AM
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I think he would. Even though he is a little slow he would have wanted to fulfil Frodo’s task. In memory of him if you like and to prove that he wouldn’t fail him. In addition to this it is mainly due to Sam’s guidance that they reach Mount Doom in the first place, Frodo is oblivious to ’sight and sound’. As you say he has had less time in possession of the ring leaving him a lot less ’corrupted’ if you will.
Arandorion 30/Dec/2006 at 03:29 AM
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I also think he would! Because I always felt that the toughness of the hobbit had something to do with it. Other races and maybe even elfes would have being corrupted by the ring before even reaching Mordor or the borders of it. And I also think that he had the optimisme needed for the journey. And with the rest  I agrea on wath Orinori said. The whole less corrupted thing.
tonygo 30/Dec/2006 at 04:00 AM
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I dont think either Sam or Frodo would have made it alone .Frodo made it because of the strenght and determination of Sam to help his friend but if Frodo had been killed i don’t believe Sam would have had the same strenght and determination to make it to Mount Doom himself .  




Phil_d_one 30/Dec/2006 at 04:43 AM
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Tolkien practically answers this question directly:

Few others, possibly no others of his time, would have got so far
(Letter 192)

And by extension, nobody, Sam included, would have got any further and actually destroyed the Ring. Could he have made it from Shelob’s Lair to Mount Doom? This one has more room for speculation -- on the one hand the time for which he’d need to bear the Ring would have been significantly shorter, but then we see that the moment he takes the Ring he is affected by it on a much greater level than anything we see in Frodo up until the end.

My personal view would be that no, he could not.
tonygo 30/Dec/2006 at 05:07 AM
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Thank you for that quote from Letter 192 .I have not as yet read the letters ,i have the book but finding the time is difficult .

Do you think any of the other characters in the book would have been able to carry the ring apart from Frodo as it has crossed my mind and what has Frodo got ( or not got) that makes him the ONE .

Poppy Burrows 30/Dec/2006 at 05:25 AM
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i dont think frodo could do it with out sam either! cos like you said they relie on each other for help and sopport when they need it don’t they? nice thread lol
Arandorion 30/Dec/2006 at 05:48 AM
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I think frode has the vision of the beatiful shire too pull him true when others have the vision of there Kingdom back to they’re own might. Because of that frodo wouldn’t have being attracted too the ring for power and woudn’t have used it. Others might have used it for the splender for they’re own Kingdom. I think only frodo and sam combined could have done it so i stand corrected for my earlier post
likuku 30/Dec/2006 at 06:31 AM
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Frodo wouldnot do his task without Sams help. But I don’t say that all do just Sam. Frodo do the largest part of the task - he bear the ring. ANd there are not so many who would bear the ring so far and only then go to madnes and put on the ring.

But I think about this - How do you think Sam would bear the ring to Mount Doom if Frodo would really died by Shelobs sting??
Sil 30/Dec/2006 at 06:42 AM
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I agree with Telmar - that Gollum would probably have managed to take Sam out on his own before reaching the Cracks of Doom. Also bear in mind that Sam would have probably been incredibly depressed and downhearted at the death of his beloved Mr Frodo, and that would have been a drain on his will power. With no one to restrain his hand as he had restrained Frodo, in times of weakness and doubt, with Orcs nearby, Sam might have taken to wearing it more often. He does seem to put it on first excuse he gets, although he does take it off and give it back.
Endril 30/Dec/2006 at 09:49 AM
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I think that Sam might have had the power of carrying the ring and destroy it, if not the power at least the will to do that. He fought the orcs by wearing the ring and he saved Frodo, things that showed a lot of courage. If Frodo was to die maybe Sam would be the one to succeed. No one can know if he would throw the ring, as Frodo didn’t do that as well. It might be possibl;e that Gollum would have claimed the ring after all from Sam, at the same place where he claimed it from Frodo for a few moments.
Uzakul 31/Dec/2006 at 03:33 AM
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Its a very difficult thing to speculate because Sam does not go through all of the trials of Frodo and he does not carry the ring for the whole quest, or the wound from Weathertop. If he had to destroy the ring because niether frodo or gollum destroyed it and only he was left i would think he would. Because he has not been tainted by its power.

But if he had carried the ring from the shire and had the experience of carrying the ring i dont think what the out come would be is so easy to see and it can only be decided through informed speculation.

Roman Empress 31/Dec/2006 at 08:45 PM
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In my personal belief, I believe that Sam could not have done it. I think that he was too weepy and emotional for that task. Don’t get me wrong I like Sam just fine, except that he would defiently need some extra back-up to complere such a task. Also, he could not have handled Gollum in an adequate way. Gollum would run all over poor little Sam. Then again, if you look at it in another way, he might could’ve done it, as stated by Uzakul, Sam did not go through all the trials and tribulations like Frodo had to endure. Well, I suppose it’s all in the way you look at it.



Amanien Carnlōtė 01/Jan/2007 at 01:15 AM
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I think Sam could have been able to do it on his own, but it would have been a much more difficult task. Because the only way Frodo and Sam made it to Mount Doom is because things just seemed to fall into place for them. Seemingly impossible situations ended up being blessings in disguise for them over and over again. Shelob stings Frodo, Sam takes the ring, thereby preventing the Mordor orcs from finding the ring on Frodo. Frodo is taken to the tower, and before Sam gets there the orcs all kill each other, thereby removing one obstacle Sam and Frodo would have had to pass without being seen. If Frodo had been dead and eaten by Shelob, Sam would have had no way past that obstacle. Once they leave the tower, they are dressed in orc armor, which makes it a lot easier for other orcs to not realize that they aren’t supposed to be there. If Sam had been on his own, it would have been a lot more suspicious and there would have been a greater danger of him being found out. And of course there is Gollum. I actually believe that Sam could have dealt with Gollum, he didn’t pity Gollum the way Frodo did. But maybe carrying the ring would have changed that, that’s something else that can be debated. If Sam got to Mount Doom against all odds, would he have had the strength to throw the ring away? I think that Sam’s loathing of the ring because of the torment it gave Frodo would have made it easier for him to dispose of it, but again, Sam would have had to use the ring a lot more than Frodo in order for him to have any chance of crossing the burning plains to Mount Doom. The ring being so close to Sauron increased its power, and Sam could have become consumed by it, despite his good heart and love for Frodo.
But even if Sam could have overcome all these obstacles and destroyed the ring, I don’t think he would have gotten out of the mountain alive. If Frodo had been alone after the ring was destroyed, I believe he would have given up his life and died in the volcano. Sam is what kept Frodo focused on surviving, Sam was always only thinking of Frodo, never of himself. Therefore I believe if Sam had done it alone, he too would have succumbed to grief over the death of Frodo and given up his fight to survive once the ring was gone. And there are so many other variables in the aftermath of the fall of Sauron that that would have affected. But that too, is something for another discussion.
Eleglīn 01/Jan/2007 at 11:52 AM
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Good intentions often lead to oblivion. Gandalf himself says that he would use the One out of pity, "pity for weakness and desire of strength to do good." Now Sam himself seems like a good sort and certainly has a big heart, most noteably displayed with the way he looks after Frodo’s best interests in the later stages of the quest. So certainly he knows pity, but he seems much more weak of mind than Gandalf and certainly would not consider the sonsequence if he thought some good might come out his wielding the Ring.

Could Sam have got to Mount Doom? Perhaps.
Could he have destroyed the Ring? Certainly not, his kind nature would undoubtebly be his downfall.

mighty ent man 01/Jan/2007 at 12:21 PM
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One of the main themes of Frodo and Sam’s journey is that of the need for friendhsip and teamwork. Therefore when you consider this question in this light I think we can see that Sam would not have been able to get the Ring to Mount Doom on his own. He would firstly suffer hugely from the grief at knowing that Frodo was lost. I know that he does think Frodo dead when stung by Shelob so I suppose we see that he does decide to go on.

Others here raised the excellent point that Gollum would have got him. This is a strong point.

I just do not think that anyone can get it there on their own. They need the support of someone to be strong enough to fight the power of the Ring. This is how I view the tale.

Yes of course Sam is a very tough character and he does not really struggle with the temptation to use the Ring. He does once when he has it but he quickly banishes those evil thoughts and desires. However his strength on its own is not enough. I do not think Frodo could have done it alone. You have to battle against the Ring’s weakening power and contend with cunning Gollum on your trail. These are two powerful forces.


WyteWolf 01/Jan/2007 at 02:23 PM
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while I have both read the books and seen the movies I have to venture the opinion that I believe yes Sam might have made it alone to Mount Orodruin but No I dont believe He would have had any more luck of throwing the ring into the fires then Frodo did...remember tha from the moment Sam took possession of the ring He was sorely tempted. the only saving grace for sam was his simple gardener’s upbrining. and if He had been forced to carry the ring further then he had he probably would have been overcome by it...the ring exerted more power the closer it came to it place of forging and possible destruction. so my opinion is No without Frodo Sam couldnt have done it and without Sam Frodo couldnt have and without Gollum neither could have...even Gandalf seems to have had some insight when He said "Smeagol might still have some part to yet play in this."((forgive the bad paraphrase))

Rķlthoron Alarion 02/Jan/2007 at 05:33 AM
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I think that Frodo and Sam ultimately made it to Mount Doom based upon the strength and determination of their freindship and devotion to each other.  I believe that neither one of them could have made it had they been alone.  I agree that Gollum did play an important (though involuntary) prat in the end, but I think that due to the Ring’s corrupting influence, neither Sam nor Frodo could have made it to the Mountain of Fire without a faithful friend.
mighty ent man 02/Jan/2007 at 06:19 AM
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Let me just attempt to clarify one point that I have seen come up in here a few times. Sam would not have been able to throw the Ring into the fire. No one would have been able to do this. We are told this by Tolkien in one of his letters. The power of the Ring in the final place and time of its making would rise up and overwhelm anyone who had it.

Therefore the main question in this thread should be focused around whether Sam would have been able to make it to Mount Doom on his own. I would take his journey to begin from the Pass of Cirith Ungol where Frodo would have died. He would have to contend with Gollum on his own. He would have had to find the way on his own and make all the decisions on his own. I say he would not have made it.

Anfauglith 02/Jan/2007 at 06:25 AM
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Yes, I believe Sam would’ve made it to Orodruin; but no one can destroy the ring without the help of Eru.

Since Sam thought that Frodo was dead and still able to make up his mind to fulfill his task, I see no indication whatsoever that he wouldn’t have made it there by himself. Most of the time Frodo was just a burden at the end of the journey. Also he had to ration the food and water and suffer a lot that way.

But I agree that their friendship was key in taking them to Mt Doom.
mighty ent man 02/Jan/2007 at 06:27 AM
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Hmmm that is a very good point about the food and water. Sam did have to go without to make sure that Frodo had enough. Without Frodo there Sam would be able to have more food and water and thus keep himself going. I think Sam would have the physical stamina to get there. My main problem is how he would deal with Gollum on his own.
Boromir88 02/Jan/2007 at 06:44 AM
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I think Sam would have the physical stamina to get there. My main problem is how he would deal with Gollum on his own.~MeM

Good point, and let me just help you out with the whole no one can destroy the Ring thing.  I believe it’s in a few places, but the one I do remember...Letter #246
I do not think that Frodo’s was a moral failure. At the last moment the pressure of the Ring would reach its maximum - impossible, I should have said, for any one to resist, certainly after long possession, months of increasing torment, and when starved and exhausted.
There you have it.  Sam (like Frodo did) would need a little bit of assistance in able to destroy the Ring:

Frodo deserved all honour because he spent every drop of his power and will, and that was just sufficient to bring him to the destined point, and no further. Few others, possibly no others of his time, would have got so far. The Other Power then took over: the Writer of the Story (by which I do not mean myself) ’that one ever present person who is never absent and never named’ (as one critic has said)~Letter 192

So, Frodo had a little help in destroying the Ring.  However, that doesn’t mean Eru would have kindly stepped in and saved Sam the way he did Frodo.  Eru intervened and spared Frodo, because Frodo shows Pity and Mercy to Gollum:
Frodo had done what he could and spent himself completely (as an instrument of Providence) and had produced a situation in which the object of his quest could be achieved. His humility (with which he began) and his sufferings were justly rewarded by the highest hounour; and his exercise of patience and mercy towards Gollum gained him Mercy: his failure was redressed.’~Letter 246
Sam does not find Pity for Gollum until he’s in the Sammath Naur.  It was Sam that drove Gollum over the edge at that ’critical point’ in whether Gollum was redeemed or not.  Sam mistook Gollum’s pawing at Frodo, and we all know how Sam reacts and is protective (perhaps over-protective) of Frodo.  Therefor, it was Sam that drove Gollum over the edge and he is not able to find Pity for Gollum until the end in the Sammath Naur.

Therefor, had Sam even got the Ring to Mount Doom, he himself wouldn’t have been able to destroy it.  And I doubt Eru would have intervened because Sam did not Pity Gollum.  Eru doesn’t just intervene because he can and he feels like it; he does it for a reason.  Frodo had shown Pity for Gollum and to Eru that meant Frodo was to be spared and relieved from his burden of the Ring.  Sam does not show Pity for Gollum until it was too late for Gollum’s sake, so I can’t say that Sam would of had Eru’s assistance in getting the Ring destroyed.

Anfauglith 02/Jan/2007 at 06:53 AM
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Boromir 88: If Sam made it to Mt Doom on his own I’m sure Eru would’ve helped him destroy it. If not Sauron would have been able to rule ME forever. Unless the Valar or Eru intervened. Pity (or not) for Gollum seems rather irrelevant when the whole ME is at stake.

mighty ent man 02/Jan/2007 at 07:06 AM
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Boromir88 - An excellent and wonderful post there. There is not much I can really add to it! I agree that Sam would not have been able to throw it in. As to whether Eru would have helped him I cannot say. He would not have helped him for the same reason he helped Frodo, that you show well. Maybe Eru would see something else good in Sam and think to help him. I do not know.

Anfauglith - Pity (or not) for Gollum seems rather irrelevant when the whole ME is at stake. - Never say that Pity is irrelevant in ME. It is not. Pity is one of Tolkien’s key themes and it of the uttermost importance to the whole story.

Boromir88 02/Jan/2007 at 07:31 AM
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Anfauglith, I agree with MeM, Pity and Mercy is not something simply scoff and throw away as being irrelevant.  It was the very factor of Pity that saved Frodo his life; this is also noted at in Letter 181:
’But at this point the ’salvation’ of the world and Frodo’s own ’savation’ is achieved by his previous pity and forgiveness of injury. At any point any prudent person would have told Frodo that Gollum would ceratinly betray him, and could rob him in the end. To ’pity’ him, to forbear to kill him, was a piece of folly, or a mystical beleif in the ultimate value-in-itself of pity and generosity even if disastrous in the world of time. He did rob him and injure him in the end- but by a ’grace’ that last betrayal was at a precise juncture when the final evil, deed was the most beneficial thing any one could have done for Frodo! By a situation , created by his ’forgiveness’,he was saved himself and releived of his burden.

As MeM talks about the morals of Pitying and Mercy go on throughout the entire story and are always reinforced.  It starts with Gandalf teaching Frodo:
’Deserves it!  I daresay he does.  Many that live deserve death.  And some that die deserve life.  Can you give it to them?  Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.  For even the very wise cannot see all ends.~The Shadow of the Past
Then the theme continues with such examples as Gandalf, Aragorn, and the rest offering Mercy to Saruman and Grima on several occasions.  Frodo’s act of Pity towards Gollum, which won him Pity from Eru.

There is an important lesson Tolkien is trying to get across to his readers.  I was in a discussion over capital punishment in Middle-earth.  This isn’t to criticize the system in our Real World, but just to point out Tolkien’s important lesson throughout the stories; even though if by law you can execute someone, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the moral thing to do.  Great example Aragorn and Beregond:
And the King said to Beregond: ’Beregond, by your sword blood was spilled in the Hallows, where that is forbidden. Also you left your post without leave of Lord or of Captain. For these things, of old, death was the penalty. Now therefor I must prounounce your doom.
’All penalty is remitted for your valour in battle, and still more because all you did was for the love of the Lord Faramir. Nontheless you must leave the Guard of the Citadel, and yo much go forth from the City of Minas Tirith.’~The Steward and the King

Beregond committed treason against his Lord Denethor and he even went so far as to murder people to save Faramir’s life.  By law Aragorn had every right to send Beregond away and execute him (as he makes this perfectly clear).  But to do so would be to simply not understand the circumstances of the situations and the big question is would it be just?  Well I doubt people would be in a big uproaring had Aragorn made Beregond’s punishment death; however Aragorn spares his life...eventhough if by law he could have sent Beregond to the chair (or whatever method them middle-earthians use ) and be done with it.  But he doesn’t, because again we get back to Pity and Mercy.  Just because death was the ’legal’ mode of punishment doesn’t make it justice.  Aragorn feels obligated to punish Beregond for his crimes, and he so does, but he understood the circumstances surrounding the incident and spared Beregond’s life.

Pity and Mercy are two things that when it comes to Middle-earth simply can not be discounted.  It all goes back to Gandalf’s first statements...Frodo does not deal out life and death, therefor it is not for him to decide what ultimate judgement other people reach.  Aragorn was also able to understand this and spare Beregond’s life.  This is something that reoccurs continually throughout the Lord of the Rings and is a big theme Tolkien reinforces throughout the story.  So, don’t so easily count it off as irrelevant.  As was made perfectly clear Eru spared Frodo’s life and relieved him from the Ring because Frodo had won his own salvation in sparing Gollum’s life.

Though like MeM said, we really can’t say whether or not Eru would have helped out Sam.  As is evident in the situation with Frodo (also it is Eru that intervenes and sends back Gandalf)...Eru doesn’t just do something because he can do it and he’s Eru.  There’s got to be some higher reason, there’s got to be some reason that Eru would save your life.  In Frodo’s situation, Eru felt Frodo’s Pity towards Gollum won Frodo his own salvation.  When Gandalf died fighting the Balrog Eru sent him back because Gandalf showed obeisance to the Rules and to the Authority; and also he knew Gandalf was the only one in Middle-earth at the time that could stop Saruman and help Theoden.  Anyway, Eru gets involved for a purpose, he doesn’t just do it because he can.  Therefor, if Sam doesn’t destroy the Ring, Eru would have to have a reason to spare Sam’s life in that situation in the Sammath Naur.  And I don’t think it would be for Pity.

Anfauglith 02/Jan/2007 at 08:09 AM
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No, I don’t think it’s completly irrelevant but I think I have a point.