Like so many of you out there, I love, love, love Lord of the the Rings. Its an ensemble story rich with sidekicks–all of which have a critical role to play in the story. And its in LOTR, we see the essential qualities of sidekicks–they ground the hero or heroine, hold their hand as they walk a perilous journey, no matter how hard that journey or how dark the road. My favorite, the one who sets the gold standard, is Samwise Gamgee.
Although set up as the sidekick to Frodo, Sam to me is the hero of the story. Frodo carries the ring, Aragorn sexily swings his swords and grows into the mantle of a king, Gandalf ascends to the White Wizard, Legolas is steady on his bow and beautiful to behold–heroes all. But its on Sam’s shoulders they all stand. He’s loyalty and love, faith and fidelity, hard work and dogged dedication. Sam is the ever present reminder of what they all fight for–home and hearth, good food, a loving partner, a family, the taste of strawberries, the scent of grass, the touch of a rose.
But the line and scene that encapsulate this, is when Sam picks up Frodo and carries him to the top of Mt. Doom.
Mr. Frodo, I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.
That scene epitomizes love and the foundational role of the sidekick. The grandeur of love and friendship is not in its opulence, but on the ground, when things look impossible, when the moment is darkest, it is the hand that helps you up.
“Play it again, Sam.”
Who’s your favorite LOTR sidekick?