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  1. Boromir88's Avatar
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    #1


    It's that time to start on Frodo and Sam. Here are some things I was wondering about. As always, if there's anything anyone wants to add, feel free.
    1. Frodo doesn't seem to have much "courage" through out the movies. He's often the one to fall down, quiver away, or shout for "Aragorn!" to come and save him. We miss out on a lot of Frodo's brave moments where he carries the responsibility of others (the Old Fores?). Although, one could argue that by Frodo accepting to bear the Ring, that he shows tremendous courage. So, do you think Frodo's "courage" was well portrayed in the movies? Did you get a good enough sense that Frodo was brave?

    2.In ROTK Frodo sends Sam away. This is something I have first of all, completely disliked, but secondly have struggled to figure out...why? Why does Jackson et all decide Frodo needs to send Sam "home?" Does Jackson need to get Frodo "alone" before encountering Shelob?

    3. Was Elijah Wood a good choice for Frodo? There is of course, Elijah's big "blue eyes" (I'm pretty sure they're blue ) and his scream of "Gandalf!" as Gandalf presumably falls to his death. The only movie I saw Elijah Wood in before The Lord of the Rings was The Faculty. Wood plays the "nerd" character as his high school is taken over by Aliens.

    4. There is an argument that Sam (in the books) is a "dog-like" character. The author who makes this critique of Sam is obviously implying that Sam being "dog-like" is a bad thing. Jackson doesn't really go into the class differences between the wealthy Bagginses (Bilbo and Frodo) and Sam being the servant. Do you think Jackson tip-toed around the topic of class? Was this a smart move? Did it make much of a difference?

    5.One topic that Jackson arguably did not shy away from is the friendship between Frodo and Sam. Jackson decided to show the strong friendship between the two hobbits, and of course the question "Are Sam and Frodo gay?" was frequently asked when the movies first came out. The idea (in the United States, and from my understanding of some other places around the world) that men can be in a close, personal relationship and still only be friends is pretty much unheard of. The most personal men seem to get with eachother is to discuss beer, food, sports, and females. However, Jackson shows the close, personal, relationship between Sam and Frodo. So, compared to the class topic, Jackson did not skirt around this one. Opinions?

    That's what I have for now, if the discussion ends up unfolding more, all the better. I don't want this one feeling rushed, and slightly all over the place, like the first one...hopefully this one doesn't seem so rushed.

  2. Talisman's Avatar
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    #2
    1. I felt that Frodo's courage was downplayed a bit in the movies, but it was still there. Frodo was always the most reserved of the hobbits; even Sam was more "active" in the sense that he stepped up and did things. Merry and Pippin leave him in the dust, as far as cinematic heroics go - I don't think Frodo ever even killed an Orc. Even in the books, Frodo wasn't an action star.

    Personally, I think that's kind of the point. Frodo isn't a "hero;" he's a simple hobbit, a bit better-read and richer than others, but that's about it. He has no battle experience like Gimli, Boromir or Aragorn; he has no centuries of wisdom like Legolas or Gandalf. The fact that he appears woefully unsuited to the task makes his choice - of his own free will, mind you - all the more poignant and heroic.

    Frodo's courage was shown clearly in three places: (1) His decision to take the Ring t Rivendell, (2) His offer to take the Ring to Mordor, and (3) His final decision to abandon the Fellowship and seek Mordor alone.

    I got a sense of hopeless courage from Frodo, which I think was very appropriate. Although PJ injected a lot of "hope" messages into the movies, the theme of the books had much to do with going on without hope - just because it's something that must be done, not because you expect to succeed. Despite Sam's pep talks, I got the sense that Frodo never really expected to succeed in his quest - yet he trudged on anyway, because it had to be attempted.
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  3. Celebind Eryniel's Avatar
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    #3
    2. I believe I was watching one of the many behind-the-scenes features when I heard someone high-up (probably PJ, but it could have been one of the writers) talking about how Gollum's goal was to split up Frodo and Sam. The filmmakers wanted to see Gollum achieve that goal, at least temporarily. And yes, whoever was talking also said that it was important to the filmmakers that Frodo enter the tunnel alone, but I forget the rationale that was given. Perhaps it has to do with question 1; I do think that Frodo's entering the dark scary tunnel all alone shows courage.
    4. How is "dog-like" a bad thing? Dogs are faithful and loyal, just like Sam. And I do think the films showed the class differences between Frodo and Sam, but they did it in a subtle way. It shows in their accents, and in that Frodo has better quality clothes than Sam. I like it that way; it's certainly better than overdoing the class differences the way Ralph Bakshi did. Frankly, I think Bakshi made Sam look like a dope.
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  4. Talisman's Avatar
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    #4
    I was going to limit myself to one topic per day, but then decided to the void with that.

    2. I, also, totally disliked the scene where Frodo listens to Gollum and chases Sam away. Not only was it completely fabricated for the movie, it was totally out of character. Except for very brief moments the few times when Sam talked about taking the Ring, Frodo trusted Sam utterly. The idea that Frodo would reject Sam because Gollum advised him to is simply dysfunctional.

    I have no doubt that the scene was intended to serve two purposes: to show how the Ring was turning Frodo to the Dark Side, and to get Frodo alone so Shelob could stingify him. The problem is that Frodo never "went bad" until he was standing over the Cracks of Doom (and even then it's questionable how "bad" he was).

    What's equally uncharacteristic is Sam's meek acquiescence to Frodo's orders. Even if Frodo sent him away, Sam wouldn't go; he made that abundantly clear at the end of FotR, when he insisted on coming to Mordor in the first place. Sam is, I believe, even more stubborn that Frodo, and that more than anything else prevents this scene from working.

    Another point: Why does finding the dropped lembas convince Sam to return? He had to have known that he was innocent, and he didn't even bother to bring along the "proof." He abandoned his master with a treacherous, deceitful and murderous guide, then arbitrarily decided to return at some later point. This is totally out of character for Sam.
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  5. Boromir88's Avatar
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    #5
    Valithon, excellent and a very thoughtful post.

    What I was thinking of when typing out the question were the several times when Frodo's courage to "fight" does show up. OnWeathertop he overcomes his fear and strikes at the Witch-King (which catches the Witch-King by surprise and is one of the big reasons the Witch-King fled) and in Moria when he runs up to the door and stabs an orc in the foot. As opposed to movie Frodo, who I thought did a lot of falling down in those scenes.

    But as you point out, Frodo's courage shows up in a different way. One of my favorite "Frodo" parts of all the movies was way back in Bag End, and Gandalf says he can't take the Ring, Frodo confidently responds with "What must I do?" Not only is it a good line, but I think the way Elijah Wood says it makes it all the more convincing. Frodo did not "wish for this" (who would?), but he is the one who steps up to the plate. A very powerful theme of doing what has to be done, whether the person wants to or not.

    I also think when Frodo is about to leave the Fellowship, when Frodo remembers Gandalf's words ("So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for you to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time it is given to you."), was a nice touch. I think it shows the tough decision Frodo makes when he decides to leave the Fellowship. Again, he probably doesn't "want" to, but he knows that he must.

    Celebind, welcome and glad you could join.

    2. I believe I was watching one of the many behind-the-scenes features when I heard someone high-up (probably PJ, but it could have been one of the writers) talking about how Gollum's goal was to split up Frodo and Sam.

    That's interesting, I wonder where they got that idea. I'm not aware of Gollum wanting to seperate Frodo and Sam, but I very possibly could have missed Gollum's little plot in the books to get the two separated.

    What I didn't like about it was I think it first undermines the friendship that was established (and growing) between Frodo and Sam, but also it's really inconceivable for Frodo to tell Sam to go back home when they're practically in Mordor. Although, I guess the justification would be that Gollum and the Ring was messing with Frodo's mind, so he wasn't thinking rationally, but I still don't think it makes a lot of sense.

    Thank you for that information Celebind, I have not seen all of the extra features, and behind-the-scenes, that was completely new to me. But now I'm wondering whoever said it, where they got that idea from.

    crossed with Valithon

  6. Talisman's Avatar
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    3. I think Elijah Wood made an excellent Frodo...PJ went a bit heavy on the close-ups, but EW has a good hobbitish look to him. I've never seen him before LotR. Not much else for me to say here, so I'll move on to...

    4. Ah, the "dog-like Sam" debate. Personally, I agree that Sam was "dog-like," with all that that entails, good and bad. He was loyal, courageous, self-sacrificing, determined, and asked nothing from Frodo except friendship. He was also a bit slower than the others (not stupid; just slower), and firmly convinced that Frodo was about the wisest person in the world except for Gandalf and Galadriel.

    PJ definitely avoided the whole master/servant aspect of Frodo and Sam; note how Sam refers to "Mister Frodo" in the movies, compared to "Master Frodo" in the books. "Master" was, of course, a perfectly natural thing for a servant to call their employer in early 20th-century Britain. It has a rather more negative connotation in 21st-century America, and I fully understand why PJ made the decision to change it.

    I don't feel that it made much of a difference...Sam still followed Frodo to the vey end, and was his rock to lean on. PJ downplayed the "loyal servant" aspect in favor of the "loyal friend" - an equally admirable archetype. The fact that Sam and Frodo go out drinking and partying together reinforces the position of Sam as a friend rather than a servant.

    PJ also neglects to mention the Baggins's wealth and position, and the Gamgees' lower social status, except for one or two subtle allusions in FotR. I'm specifically remembering Frodo telling Gandalf that before he showed up, "we Bagginses were very well thought-of," and how Sam was "trimming the verge" - apparently, Frodo's verge, given that it was right outside his window.

    5. Although he showed their very close friendship, PJ pretty much left out Sam's frequent declarations of love for Frodo. This was undoubtedly a wise decision, as it would have given the "gay hobbit" speculation even more fuel. Again, a servant's love for his master makes perfect sense given the context - early 20th century Britain. The modern, movie-going public seems to have a rather low tolerance for non-romantic love in their action stars, and men in particular seem to have a probelm applying "love" to anyone other than spouses and close family.

    I was going to save #5 for tomorrow, only to realize I had already started discussing the "Gay Hobbit" topic before I re-read #5 and realized that was it. So there it is. I'll post again after someone else gets a chance.
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  7. Boromir88's Avatar
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    #7
    Valithon, nice explanation for #2, I always looked at it from what it does to Frodo's character, and never thought of how it doesn't make sense for Sam's character. I always thought why would Frodo listen to Gollum over his loyal and trusted friend? Sure Frodo does pity Gollum, but I wouldn't imagine for one second that Frodo would send his loyal Sam because Gollum told him to. I never asked why would Sam even listen? Thanks for bringing that up, because it doesn't make sense. They may make the argument that Gollum wanted the two hobbits to be separated (wasn't there a moment when Gollum is talking to himself saying he would never be able to get the precious with the "stupid hobbit" around - or am I being influenced by the movies?) Still, it definitely contradicts Sam and Frodo's friendship.

    I actually think it ties into #4 quite nicely, because I agree that PJ didn't want to make it look like a Master/servant relationship, but two "best" friends. You might be able to tell by the accents, and the other small allusions that Sam and Frodo are in two different classes, but it's not the clear Master/servant difference in the books. It is two hobbits, who may be in a different class, but there is a sense of equality as they are friends going to the inns...etc. That is the image PJ and co. decided to go with, and seeing that strong friendship, it really doesn't make sense for Frodo to tell Sam to go home.

    I wonder if it would have been at least more conceivable if PJ clearly showed the Master/servant relationship? In this sense, Frodo would be telling Sam that his servanthood is up, and Sam is "free." However, as Valithon brings up, we still have the stubborness of Sam, as I doubt he would listen.

  8. NineFingered's Avatar
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    #8
    I'm back! After surviving a stressful weekend, I'm ready to take a break. Let's see.

    1.. I agree that Frodo does a lot of falling down. In FOTR it was still "fresh" but by the time we made it to Shelob's tunnel it's like "come on, can't you stand on your own two feet?" Of course, one of his falls is not totally useless. If we take PJ's interpretation that the Eye might see you, then Frodo's falling down and avoiding the Eye makes sense. Otherwise... it's overdone.
    True, we did not see much of his brave moments, most likely because PJ is trying to show us the ordinary tpe of hero who doens't really have any great talents. Frodo does not stab the troll in Moria (which I was really looking forward to, I remember) and he hardly speaks any elvish in the movie, despite the fact that he was a learned hobbit. (Which for me, indicates that Frodo was not as "ordinary" as PJ wanted him to seem).
    Of course, accepting the Ring is a brave move, but if you cannot even walk, stare into dead faces and fall in, clutch the Ring at any sign of danger and swoon over it... maybe it doesn't seem like a very responsible decision. I'm exagerrating.
    I am a fan of Frodo (see my username) but he dissapointed me in the movies for being so, so useless. He seems to walk to Mordor in a kind of dream and not in that determined and hopeless manner I grasped from the books. Maybe that's just me.

    2. I have never liked this part. In fact, it must be the most hated scene of the movie in my family - we all despise it with a vengeance. Was it so hard for PJ to simply separate Frodo and Sam in the tunnel, if what he really wanted was to show Frodo alone vs. Shelob? Which does happen in the books! And I was so looking forward to Sam beating up Gollum afterwords(which happens in the depsised scenem where it loses all its flavor). No precious, PJ wanted to show Frodo turning to the Dark side, as Valithon said, and I will never understand why he did it. Makes Frodo seem totally possessed, or stupid. As if his will was already under the control of the Ring upon entering Mordor - mention the Ring and he'll send you home. Whatever! (this topic stirs up some passionate feelings, heehee)

    3. I liked Elijah Wood as Frodo, basically because I cannot imagine another actor as Frodo now (what a great reason!) Although I always had a problem with making such a young actor play Frodo, but it helped to emphasize how Frodo was totally unfit for the burden (according to PJ). I saw him playing the role of an insignificant kid in Back to the Future II, but I never noticed it until someone pointed it out to me.

    4. & 5 for later.

  9. Neila's Avatar
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    #9
    1. Frodo does seem to be less courageous in the movies than he did in the books, but there's different types of bravery I guess. I think PJ was trying to go for that you can fall down and you can be beaten down and hurt and have no hope of success or survival and if you still push through, in the end some source of bravery will come through and you can accomplish a lot. If you see the process of a person getting beaten down and stepped all over with nothing but torment ahead, and then you see that person continuing on in the journey knowing all along that he will most likely die, that takes courage. Sure, he needed Sam and he needed the rest of the fellowship, but at the same time, the most courageous of the fellowship needed his friends as well. No one succeeded alone.

    2. I think it was just for the drama. I mean, everyone at this point loves Sam and feels empathy for him and Frodo. To see Frodo so completely downtrodden and getting taken over by the Ring that he sends away Sam makes everyone's heart rip out a little. I really think that like a lot of the odd decisions PJ went with, this was purely for drama.

    3. I loved Elijah. He has that innocent look in him. I just keep going back to the beginning of FotR with him at the party. He looked completely like a hobbit. He was carefree and happy. He was able to play all of Frodo's emotions very well. So, I didn't really like the ending of RotK, his laugh was annoying, but I think he did really well everywhere else. He's come a long way from Flipper and Radio Flyer.

    4. Tiptoeing around class isn't that big of a deal. I mean, look at the U.S. Constitution (sorry, I can't think of a better example at the moment.) The writers of the constitution specifically left out slavery because they foresaw it being a big issue in the years to come. So, he may have downplayed class because he wanted to have a broad audience. If he made sure Frodo was 'better' than Sam, people in the lower class may have stopped reading the books after the first few chapters and never got the point of the whole story. Besides, the point of the books is unity and friendship, right? Not class.

    5. It may be difficult to emit the same things from books to movies. In a book, one can realloy see everything going on because they read at their own pace. If a reader finds something less sentimental, the "I love you" thing could be just casual. In a movie, everyone is expected to feel things the same way, but it just doesn't happen that way. It's more risky to say those things in a movie between two men. I think it's just more subjective in a book.


  10. Boromir88's Avatar
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    #10
    Sorry for my absense, I've been lurking and reading, but haven't been in a good condition to want to sit down and type out a response. I came down with a pretty nasty cold that's led to an ear infection. So, I'm going to extend this thread at least for a couple more days.

    Greetings Neila, welcome, and nice post. When I'm feeling more up to it I will properly respond.

  11. NineFingered's Avatar
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    #11
    I wonder if this virus infection is contagious through the Internet, Boromir88, 'cause I've come down with a bad cold as well. To try to keep this thread alive, I'll try to answer 4 & 5 and keep in mind Neila's post.

    4. I do indeed think that PJ downplayed the hobbit class theme. The most obvious thing is that Sam never calls Frodo "master" but "mister" - and even just plain "Frodo" when his feelings are overcome. I suppose they left the "master" phrases for Gollum. So Frodo and Sam are more like friends.

    Yet PJ did do a few subtle things to hint at class. For one thing, Sam is shown tending a garden at the beginning, while Frodo is reading and dreaming in the fields. You might not make the immediate connection that wealthy people have more time for leisure - but there it is. Also, Frodo wears velvet, while Sam wears some kind of coarser garment. Finally, when Faramir mockingly asks if Sam is Frodo's bodyguard, Sam retorts that he is Frodo's gardener. Now that's pretty explicit.

    Neila said that PJ didn't want to show Frodo being 'better' than Sam or else lower class people wouldn't read the book. I suppose she meant that people wouldn't watch the movies, right? Because Tolkien included the class theme in the books, and I don't think that deterred poor people from reading it. On the contrary, I think that Sam comes off as the better man in the end, which would exalt rather than humble lower class people.

    5. I think the whole idea of Frodo and Sam as being something other than friends is preposterous (pronounced a la British, this word sounds important, heehee). On the one hand it is absolutely clear that Sam loved Rosie; even when he's about to 'die' in Mordor he thinks about her. Also, what is wrong with having close friends of the same sex? If I recall correctly, Tolkien wrote a Letter to his son Michael in 1941 about the dangers of having friends of the opposite sex. Basically, he was telling his son that no matter how hard he tried to just be 'friends' with a girl, in the end one of them would 'succumb'. So that explains why we don't see any women in the Fellowship.

    So I think that Tolkien was saying that it is easier to have a true and honest friendship with someone of the same sex. But I suppose that in our distorted and corrupted mdoern world, this sounds really old-fashioned. And I think PJ did a good job in showing that Frodo and Sam were NOT what some people thought they were. Now if Sam had really cried over Frodo and kissed him and fondled him I'm sure there would have been a lot of talk. Yet I don't see anything wrong with it.

  12. mighty ent man's Avatar
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    #12
    Boromir88 - Firstly let me sincerely apologise to you for not getting back to you sooner. You sent me a message in March about these Character Studies that you were doing. Your message was very kind. I unfortunately have notbeen on the plaza since March so today is the first time I have read your message! I am sorry. I hope to make amends by contributing to your excellent idea in this thread.

    I will go through your points that you voiced in the opening post and then answer some of the other issue raised in the thread.

    Firstly I don't think we get any sense of Frodo being courageous. There are brief glimmers of it but on the whole I cam away with the impression that Frodo was weak and rather pathetic. This is supported by many of my friends who have not read the books and feel that Frodo is a weak character and consequently quite annoying.

    Your second point is also something that has angered me greatly ever since I saw it on film, and still does. I have read that the reasoning behind sending Sam home is to show the power of the Ring and that Gollum was finally managing to control Frodo. Up to this point in the films we have seen Frodo begin to gradually distrust Sam more as Gollum whispers in his ears. Now is the final cumulation of this. I of course think this is ridiculous. In the books Sam and Frodo's friendship was built so it would stand even the corrupting influence of the Ring. This was a point I feel Tolkien was trying to get accross to us, that friendship could withstand evil. However by including this sending home scene it completely goes against what Tolkien stood for.

    I think Elijah Wood did an ok job. He could have done better or much worse to be honest. Like I said before I think he portrayed Frodo in quitea weak manner but then again how much of this was down to him - maybe the script gave him little room to manouever.

    Valithon - Great first post
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  13. Boromir88's Avatar
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    #13
    No need to apologise Mem, I've been inactive and only lurking as of late. I haven't had a whole lot of time to sit down and type out of post. But, now I can post a quick response. I'm glad you're back and able to participate.

    As far as the next thread (which I believe is Merry and Pippin) I will shoot for Saturday, at the latest Sunday.

    Neila, interesting point about bringing up the U.S. Constitution. I do think there is a slight difference (which I will get to in a bit) but class has been a hot topic, and a struggle, through most of human history. In Athens, 6 or 7 families were in control and had most of the wealth. Solon and Cleisthemes (sp?)were Greeks charged to reform the gap between the rich and poor. The Romans were worse off, as even though they were in love with the idea of a "Republic" it was much more like an Aristocracy. Only the very rich got representation in the Senate and they made the decisions for all Romans. However, the Romans were very practical, they threw out what didn't work and quickly adopted to something that did. The lower class Plebeians ended up winning a lot of freedoms after defeating the Patriarchs in 264 BC. I think I'm getting too far away here, so...

    I do believe there is a difference between slavery and Sam/Frodo's relationship. Sam was Frodo's servant, but I think Sam was more than willing to "serve" Frodo. That is apparent in Sam's refusal to let Frodo go off alone. Elrond puts it better than what I could:

    "It is hardly possible to seperate you from him, even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not."~The Council of Elrond (I believe Elrond has the same or similar lines in the movie)

    With that being said,we are living in a different "society" than the one Tolkien was writing in. Even though if there are still classes (and even castes in places), it's proven that most people identify themself (or want to be identified) with the Middle-class. So, I believe today's audience can connect with Sam and Frodo better if they are shown more as equals, and close friends, rather than the servant/master relationship more prevalent in the books. As Ninefingered points out, there are clues to the difference in "wealth" between Frodo and Sam, however the way Sam and Frodo interact I think one can say they see themselves more as "equals" and friends who have grown up together.

    This actually got me thinking about Ninefingered pointing out Jackson's decision to make Frodo much younger (at least younger looking, we don't have a clue as to Frodo's actual age in the movies). This would also set Frodo and Sam on a more equal level, instead of the 12 year age difference in the books. (I think it's 12 years someone may want to correct me on that).

    More will come later.

  14. Talisman's Avatar
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    #14
    Frodo was 51 yeas of age in 3019 (during the War of the Ring), while Samwise was 39 - indeed, 12 years difference. By human standards, this would place Frodo around his early 30's - 50 was the age when Hobbits were expected to be fully grown up and adult - while Sam would be in his early 20's - Hobbits come of age at 33, which is presumably analogous to either 18 or 21 (human years).

    I never got a sense of the class difference between Frodo and Sam in the movies - they appeared to be simply two friends with different professions. Sam was a rough-spoken gardener, and Frodo was quasi-wealthy and better-read and more cultured. Perhaps this is a product of my American upbringing, since I'm used to associating with people of varying economic levels and dialects. Certainly, I doubt many people who went into the movie "cold" deduced that Sam was Frodo's servant.

    Sam's claiming to be "[Frodo's] gardener" does not, in my mind, necessarily imply a subservient position. In real life, I'm a carpenter, and any of my customers could refer to me as "their carpenter" - this doesn't make me their servant, merely a temporary employee. Obviously, this is different from Tolkien's day.

    I found it far more striking that Frodo and Sam routinely went out partying and drinking - hardly standard master/servant behavior, I would think!

    Regarding Frodo's apparent age, I agree: he looked far too young. He looked younger than any of the other Hobbits, with the possible exception of Pippin. However, Frodo acted like the oldest - he bore the burden, and he made the decisions and tried to be responsible. Note that Frodo was the unquestioned leader from the Shire to Bree, and then from the Falls of Rauros to Mount Doom. Sam defers to his authority except when Frodo's orders are not in his own best interests, and Merry and Pippin seem to respect him.
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  15. mighty ent man's Avatar
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    #15


    Valithon touches on the point that I wish to make in this post. You talk about how you feel in the books that Sam was Frodo's servant. However whilst I could obviously see this part to their relationship I think Sam was first and foremost Frodo's friend, not his servant. Sam was Frodo's gardener but also a very close friend of his. I also don't really see any issue made in the books of any supposed class difference between Frodo and Sam. Just because we see evidence of Sam having a job and Frodo not having one this does not mean they are of different class.
    "Almost felt you liked the Forest!"

  16. Idle Leaf's Avatar
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    #16
    5. I liked the portrayal of Frodo and Sam's relationship in the movies: Sam's joy at seeing Frodo awake in Rivindell; Frodo's love for Sam when he mentions the possibility of roast chicken in Emyn Muil (TT:EE). The line 'I'm glad to be with you Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things' is beautiful and tear-jerking because you know how much these two care for each other. I really believed that line and never once thought 'hmm... maybe they're gay'. Remember though; applicability: if you would like to imagine that they are gay, drawing on your own life and experiences, that's up to you in any given scene. Sam gets married and has children and does love Rosie, so I think we can conclude that they are not gay, but if you want to imagine a single scene differently, that's your perogative, as intended by The Master.

  17. mighty ent man's Avatar
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    #17
    Idle Leaf - Well yes of course people are free to imagine whatever they want. However they were NOT gay, as you yourself said. So those people who imagine them to be gay are wrong.
    "Almost felt you liked the Forest!"

  18. NorthernVala's Avatar
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    #18
    Great idea with these character studies!

    1. In my opinion, Frodo came off as kind of weak in the movies.. I get the whole ordinary guy, not your typical hero-thing, but this really was stretching it the other way. Some of the great moments for Frodo in the book are those where he realises what his responsibility is, and acts on that. He has a very quiet and determined kind of courage, which in my book is very impressive. There is enough hero-like bravery going around in this story, so Frodo's balanced and solid courage always stood out for me. I think it's a real shame they didn't translate that to the movies better.

    2. Ew, I hate that scene. Passionately. Like a lot of you, apparently And I never could think of a good reason for it. As NineFingered mentioned, it would have been no problem at all to have Frodo and Sam separate in the tunnel, thus leaving Frodo alone and friendless facing Shelob. I guess they did have a thought behind it all, it just seems too out of character to me. And Valithon, excellent point about Sam's character. I never really thought of it from that angle before.

    3. Elijah was okay, I guess you can't blame him much for the weak portrayal of Frodo. So I think he was alright.

    Need to get some reading done - will get back to the final two.


  19. Mithrandír's Avatar
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    #19
    Hmm... i might pop back.

    1. In the movies, i lost the whole sense of Frodo's courage that was portrayed so vividly in the books. One of PJ's mistakes was to make the Frodo character as weak as anything, and we see this by his giving in to Gollum and leaving Sam behind. In the books, such a thing wouldn't have happened, and if it did, Frodo should have put up at least some resistance. It's like destroying the precarious etiquette of the harmless physician, making him vulnerable to all criticism and lust. It's a horrible performance by Elijah in that scene, too.

    2. I think PJ entered that scene to show the weakness of Frodo's mind, and the temptation of the Ring going stronger as he came nearer to Baru-Dar. And i bet he thought that leaving Frodo to face Shelob would invoke terror in some viewers, which i guess it sometimes did.

    For number two, i think that their are many more reasons for PJ's intrusion. Sam the rescuer, for one; it looked cool when Sam stepped up to fight Shelob. But by far, it was the worst thing he added.

    'If you have spent as much time as i with books, you begin to prefer them to people.' - W.H Auden.

  20. mighty ent man's Avatar
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    #20
    The reasons given for why PJ had Frodo send Sam away and Sam go do not make any sense. In the books they are basically separated from each other when Shelob ambushes them - because of Gollum. Personally for me the book version was much scarier than the films. I feel PJ should have used the books here. He could have had them separate in the tunnels and then maybe have Gollum attack Sam and delay him from going to save Frodo from Shelob. You could then have had a pretty scary bit whilst Sam runs to try and find Frodo - and we the audience could be led into thinking he was dead. Having Sam leave Frodo completely destroyed the meaning of the books and their friendship. It was a monumental error by PJ.
    "Almost felt you liked the Forest!"

  21. Alendia's Avatar
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    #21
    I believe that Frodo telling Sam to go home sort of shows the power that the ring has on him. It has such a grip on him that he tells is best friend to leave. Also Gollum plays a role in manipulating him as well, for he only truly wants the ring back.

    As far as how PJ portrays this in the films, yes it was a deviation, but I believe it was acceptable. It gives Sam a sort of courageous moment when he finds the lembas and realizes that Gollum has done some treachery and that Frodo needs him.

    True it would have been nice to play everything exactly to the books, but it was their interpretation of the books that they chose to follow. In a way, the differences are good, it can force people to read the books and compare them to the movies and appreciate each of them for what they are.

  22. mighty ent man's Avatar
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    #22
    Alendia - As far as how PJ portrays this in the films, yes it was a deviation, but I believe it was acceptable.

    No I am afraid it is NOT acceptable. Tolkien made it very clear in the books that it was the friendship between Sam and Frodo that got the Ring destroyed. Their bond was unbreakable. This is one of the main things to stand out from the books in my opinion. Sam would NEVER leave Frodo. No matter how twisted Frodo became Sam always knew it was the Ring and more importantly Frodo always snapped out of his outbursts and apologised to Sam. These were strong hobbits who could not be wholly taken over by the Ring.

    PJ putting this scene completely destroys all of this. It does not matter why he did it, his reasons count for nothing. The reason they count for nothing is because this scene was not just a little bit wrong - it was wrong at the most fundamental level because it showed the complete lack of understanding he has of the books.

    It gives Sam a sort of courageous moment when he finds the lembas and
    realizes that Gollum has done some treachery and that Frodo needs him.

    Again I am afraid you are wrong, at least I feel you are. You mis-judge this. This only serves to show Sam as someone who is weak and is prepared to abandon their friend. Sam leaving is a disgrace. He would never have forsaken Frodo in such a way in the books.

    it was their interpretation

    Again you are wrong. In this instance interpretation was not at work - invention was at work. These scenes were completely invented and made up out of nothing. So it was not their interpretation of the text - it was fantasy, and a bad one at that.

    "Almost felt you liked the Forest!"

  23. Blue Goblin's Avatar
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    #23
    1. There are some parts in the movies where Frodo actually annoys me. For example, at Weathertop, when he just....drops his sword and falls over. In the movies I would have liked to have seen the moment in the books when, on the way to Rivendell after being stabbed on Weathertop, he himself faces the Ringwraiths. Also, I think in ROTK, on Mount Doom, when after Sam has carried him some of the way, he actually runs up the rest of the mountain and into the doorway of Mount Doom. This can be seen as courageous, but also slightly strange, because he goes to having no energy at all and being carried by Sam to sprinting into the mountain.
    Other than that, his courage is very well portrayed, imo.

    2. No thoughts on this one...after reading the books and going back to the movies, I didn't understand it, but PJ must have thought was necessary, because it shows Sam coming back to save him despite being sent away.

    3. To be perfectly honest, his was not a performance I can say stood out to me as, for example, Viggo's did or Bernard Hill's did. But now I think on it, it was pretty great overall.

    4. Class was not as important a factor in either the books or the movies as was the friendship between Sam and Frodo. It wasn't essential to the movies really.

    5. San and Frodo's closeness was expressed extremely well in the movies, imho. Never thought of them as gay, and those who do, in my opinion, are pretty narrow - minded. It certainly made me appreciate friendship alot more.
    It is not about where you go in life, it is about who is by your side that makes it all worthwhile.

  24. 5. WellI actually thought Jackson did skirt around this a little. To me, their friendship in the movies seemed watered down compared to the books. One of the most intense moments in the book Jackson leaves out: the scene where Gollum finds Frodo and Sam asleep, and Frodo has his head in Sam's lap. Also the scene in Cirith Unglol - much of the dialogue from the book is ommited. I think Jackson may have been worried people would misconstrue Frodo and Sam's friendship so he made some changes like these.

  25. Elanor_Gardner's Avatar
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    #25


    2. The part where Frodo sends Sam home makes little sense to me...I understand it a bit better now, how the ring was corrupting Frodo, making him mad anddestroying what other loves he had. What doesn't work at all is Sam sitting and giving up. What? I would think that Sam would follow anyways and be wise enough to see Frodo was being mislead, not going back down the mountain. I was lucky enough to see the stage production of LOTR this summer in London, and was surprised that they had a similar scene in which Frodo rejected Sam, trying to leave him behind. Where it differed from the movie was that Sam chased after him refusing to be left behind. He followed after him, hardly hearing Frodo's words but keeping to his promise and what he knew in his heart.

  26. mighty ent man's Avatar
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    #26
    PJ does this kind of character assassination multiple times in the films. We have Faramir, Gimili and Gandalf all being ruined in single moments. Add to that Aragorn too with the Mouth of Sauron scene.

    Let me explain a little better what I mean. I have often said in the Movie forum that when you watch the films you are NOT watching a true representation of the books. Therefore you are not really watching the Lord of the Rings. You are watching a fake, something trying to pass itself off as the LOTR.

    My evidence for this view is this. Let me focus upon the Sam and Frodo example as this is what this thread is about. When PJ chose to have Frodo send Sam home and then to have Sam leave he chose to depart from the text in such a fundamental way that he essentially destroyed these two characters. This single scene was so out fo character for the two that it ruined all the good work done before in the films. So you cannot say that we see Sam and Frodo from the books in the films for I can simply counter that claim with this horrendous fabrication of a scene.

    We all know that Sam would have never have left Frodo and Frodo would never have told him to go. These things are impossible. We also all know that Tolkien's creation is essentially flawless. It is perfect and it is silly to try and make anything up that will fit in with it. Go on, right now, try and think of something you would add to the books to make them better. I bet anything you come up with will pale into insignificance if you line it up alongside the plot of the books.

    However PJ he decided to do this. He decided to throw away all respect for the books and make up scenes and actions that never existed in Tolkien's mind. In doing so he left the films open to this kind of criticism. These scenes with Sam and Frodo are onyl a few examples. The films are littered with the remanents of character assassination and this is why the films are not the Lord of The Rings.

    "Almost felt you liked the Forest!"

  27. Nenuphar's Avatar
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    #27
    2. To add to all of the discussion here, I'd like to point out that
    Frodo's decision (in the movie) to send Sam home was even more serious
    than people have been hinting at. It has already been mentioned that
    this went totally against the nature of their friendship and the ways
    in which they interacted; Frodo would never have sent Sam away (at
    least not at this point; he did try at the end of FOTR), and if he had
    tried then Sam would have refused to go (and what was up with that
    whole finding and crushing of the lembas? Even if he had been that
    angry, they needed that food. Come on!). However, one thing that no one
    has mentioned: they were on the edges of Mordor, far away from the
    Shire, presumably surrounded by enemies, and no real idea of how to
    return to the Shire. The only way they had gotten this far was through
    a series of guides, the latest of which would be remaining with Frodo.
    So not only was Frodo telling Sam to leave, he was pretty much
    sentencing him to certain death (with possible perks like torture
    beforehand). This makes Frodo's decision in the movies even more
    indefensible.



    5. There's one scene from the book that no one else has mentioned, but
    that has always struck me as being potentially open to
    misunderstandings of their friendship. When Sam finds Frodo in Cirith
    Ungol. At this point in time Frodo is completely unclothed. Sam takes
    him up in his arms and holds him there for a little while, feeling like
    he could sit like that in endless happiness, but knowing that he must
    stir Frodo to action and get him out of the tower. Now, let me say that
    I do NOT think that there was anything romantic between them; let me
    also say that I totally understand Sam's reaction here. However, it has
    often surprised me that this scene hasn't been jumped on more by those
    looking to see something in their friendship that isn't there.



  28. MelPir's Avatar
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    #28

    1. To me it's very clear that Frodo's decision to bear the Ring shows how unbeliavebly brave he is and that's why he is my favorite character. He is usually the one to fall down and to ask for help but he is the one carrying the world on his shoulders. I think his bravery is very well portrayed in the movies specially at the end of Fellowship of the Ring when he is in front of the river holding the Ring and crying. He cries because he knows that in order to fnish his task he is going to have to lose everything, he knows the Ring will take everything from him, he knows that things will never go back to the way they were but he accepts that e moves forward, he does it for the people he loves. He does the one thing that everyone else, as brave and honorable as they were, did not do. He agreed to sacrifice himself completely to save the world he loves.

    2.I think he did that to show how damaged Frodo was, he was damaged to the point where he would sent away the one person he trusted the most.

    3. I think Eliajh was a great choice. I've been a fan of his work ever since he was a little kid and I saw him on "The Good Son". He is a fantastic actor, when you see him in the fellowship and then in return of the king it's like you're looking at two completely different people, it's amazing how you can see and feel the change of the character, I think he did a fantastic job with showing how much Frodo has changed.

    4. I don't think the class thing made any difference and I don't think Jackson tiptoed around it either, I think he was just more interested in showing Sam's devotion, friendshipand admirationtowardsFrodo, and in my opinion that is what's truly important to the story. I don't think in anyway that Sam has a dog like behaviour, I think he just wants to do everything he can to help his dear friend.

    5.I agree with you. The gay questions always appears because most men don't accept or talk out loud about the friendship between two men, even though we all know it exists. I think everyone has two men who are best friends and there is nothing gay about it, I think that Frodo and Sam are just more abou it, and I think that both Tolkien and Jackson wanted to show how powerful and important a friendship can be, because if it wasn'y for that strong friendship the Ring would not have been destroyed.

  29. Tree's Avatar
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    #29


    "I think his bravery is very well portrayed in the movies specially at
    the end of Fellowship of the Ring when he is in front of the river
    holding the Ring and crying"


    His bravery is portrayed by him crying?

    I don't think Frodo was portrayed as very brave at all in the Movies. He was turning into a bit of a wimp, and there are multiple examples of him acting in a cowardly way whereas int he book he acted noble and brave. in the book, the ring has some influence over him- sure- but hardly as much as in the films where he is portrayed as being turned into a gibbering slave of the ring at some points.

    "I think he did that to show how damaged Frodo was, he was damaged to
    the point where he would sent away the one person he trusted the most"


    Which was a big mistake on PJ's part as Frodo was not that 'damaged', and PJ, in sending Sam home, managed to completely miss the point of their relationship. Frodo would never send Sam home.


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  30. Talisman's Avatar
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    #30


    Quote Originally Posted by Tree

    "I think his bravery is very well portrayed in the movies specially at
    the end of Fellowship of the Ring when he is in front of the river
    holding the Ring and crying"


    His bravery is portrayed by him crying?
    Yes. Well, more accurately, his bravery is portrayed by him going on despite his pain and sorrow. He's crying because he has been torn away from the Shire, seen his old friend Gandalf fall, and now watched Boromir - a Man he trusted and respected - go berserk with desire for the Ring. Frodo realizes that the only course open to him is to go on alone, for if he involves anyone else they will either die defending him or fall prey to the Ring.

    So, yes; in this case, his bravery is portrayed by him crying. And going on to Mordor, alone, despite his tears.


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