Was Sam just a servant or true friend?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by Merry, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. Merry

    Merry Has chubby cheeks

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In a pub
    Home Page:
    Ok, I have heard this mentioned in another thread which I found debatable, I always thought that Sam was a true, loyal friend of Frodos but others ('who'? is not relevant) have questioned this saying that Frodo treat him and viewed him as a servant. I know that Sam always wanted to serve "his master" but I still think that this was Sam being humble and not realising how much he meant to Frodo.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Gamil Zirak

    Gamil Zirak The Ladies' Dwarve

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Accountant
    Location:
    Texas
    Home Page:
    Sam was a very loyal servant. He and Frodo weren't even good friends. In the FoTR right before Bag End is given to the SB's and Frodo leaves, Frodo has one last meal with his best friends. They are Merry, Pippin, Fatty, and one other hobbit (I can't remember the name, but it wasn't Sam).
     

  3. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Finland
    So you were right about Merry, Pippin and Fatty; but I think you might be mistaken about Sam not being the fourth helper. After all, his closest friends were all there. I remember that two friends of Bilbo's and Frodo's were mentioned, besides M and P. It was Fatty and the other one, but the other one did not strike me as a very close friend (judging by the fact I can't even remember his name!:p). No but seriously, the 'other guy' is only mentioned once or twice, so I did not get the impression of a dear friend; perhaps a 'buddy', but not a dear friend..
    And how can you say that Sam and Frodo weren't even good friends?! Frodo says they are repeatedly (I remember him saying it twice in Mordor, no quotes I'm afraid), and it is more than obvious that they were the best of friends.
     
  4. Gamil Zirak

    Gamil Zirak The Ladies' Dwarve

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Accountant
    Location:
    Texas
    Home Page:
    They did become friends in the end from Frodo's perspective, but not Sam's. Sam always referred to Frodo as Master.
     

  5. aragil

    aragil Just another loremaster

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,853
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Neuroscience PostDoc
    Location:
    Secondarily Beautiful State of Washington
    Home Page:
    Are you trying to tell me that Sam kisses Frodo, not out of friendship or love, but because he considers that the proper 'servant thing' to do to a Master?
     
  6. Gamil Zirak

    Gamil Zirak The Ladies' Dwarve

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Accountant
    Location:
    Texas
    Home Page:
    This isn't the same servant/master relationship we have now. This is the servant/master relationship Tolkien gives us. Sam cares for his master very deeply, but it's not friendship. If Merry and Pippin (Frodo's good friends) went to Mt. Doom with Frodo, they wouldn't have cared for Frodo like Sam did. His compassion stems from his love for his Master.
     
  7. Beorn

    Beorn In the shadows Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,655
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Software Engineer
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I think that in the beginning, the very beginning, Sam wasn't a friend, just a servant, because he was snooping for Merry & Pippin, correct? However, they became friends later on...

    But, there are these quotes:
    1. FotR 6th paragraph

    2. FotR Ch. 2. 5th paragraph
    3. FotR Ch. 2, Last few paragraphs
    4. FotR Ch. 3, first couple pages
    So, the first quote implies a sort of friendship, the second only mentions Fatty, Folco, Merry, and Pippin, the third seems a lot like they aren't friends, and the fourth only mentions Fatty, Folco, Merry, and Pippin....

    And Ponti....whoops Lantarion, Folco is mentioned three times, not two :rolleyes:
     
  8. aragil

    aragil Just another loremaster

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,853
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Neuroscience PostDoc
    Location:
    Secondarily Beautiful State of Washington
    Home Page:
    Contextual note- the first two chapters of FotR were written ~5 years before the breaking of the Fellowship, and much earlier than Frodo and Sam's trip through Mordor. When the drafts were first written, Sam didn't even exist, so that could go some way towards explaining why Sam was left out of the 'friend list'.
    Still, I believe Sam was present at the party in quote #4 above, and so possibly qualifies as a friend even in the early stages.
     
  9. Beorn

    Beorn In the shadows Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,655
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Software Engineer
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Ouch.

    However, in the third quote, if Sam was being inserted, and that he was friends, I don't think that Tolkien would've put in "'Me, sir!' cried Sam, springing up like a dog invited for a walk. 'Me go and see Elves and all! Hooray!' he shouted, and then burst into tears." (3) if Sam was just a friend....a dog?
     
  10. Gil-Galad

    Gil-Galad in love

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,179
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Business Development Manager/ Area Manager Asia &
    Location:
    Plovdiv,Bulgaria/Leuven,Belgium
    Home Page:
    I think you're right Beorn.All things which Sam and Frodo do together,all adventures they have,have made them real friends.I think that with time being with Frodo,Sam has realized that Frodo is great person and he should do everything for him.
     
  11. Bilbo Baggins57

    Bilbo Baggins57 #1 Hobbit

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    Somewhere Over The Sea
    I agree. They may have started out as servant & master, but their trip to Mordor definately brought them closer 2gether. Frodo was going to go to Mordor by himself but Sam insisted on going w/ him even after Frodo tried to convince him not to go. So Sam must have considered him a friend cuz most servants wouldn't do that for their master unless they had some kind of affection for him.
     
  12. Gamil Zirak

    Gamil Zirak The Ladies' Dwarve

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Accountant
    Location:
    Texas
    Home Page:
    If Sam was there, then he was either working in the garden or serving the five other hobbits.
     
  13. ltas

    ltas Apprentice

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Home Page:
    I have always seen Sam and Frodo as very close friends.


    Nevertheless, I can't quite agree with Bilbo Baggins57 who said that:

    The affection Sam had for Frodo could as well be an affection of a very loyal servant for his master. This kind of relationship is very common in historical novels (Ivanhoe for example), where the servant may voluntarily sacrifice himself to save his master.


    I guess there are many ways to interpret the nature of their relationship...
     
  14. Lhunithiliel

    Lhunithiliel Fëanorean

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,138
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    translator
    I only wish to say that without Sam - servant OR a friend - poor Frodo would be HELPLESS!
    I don't like it that Frodo treats Sam like a servant, mostly... although it can be felt that he cares about Sam a lot and often, especially at the end of their great "adventure" he feels him more like his FRIEND!
    But did Frodo ever admitted Sam's loyalty and true friendship?
    I doubt it!
    And this makes me mad!
    I think Sam is the true hero!
    Right, Maneriniel? :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2002
  15. Ariana Undomiel

    Ariana Undomiel Hrívëvendë

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    822
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Friend
    Location:
    wanderer
    Home Page:
    In the beginning, I believe that Sam was a hired hand at Bag End, but as the book progresses, Sam and Frodo grow closer. Sam is so humble though that he never stops thinking that Frodo is above him. He adores Frodo! Towards the end of the Return of the King, the love that Sam shows Frodo in the way that he cares for him, is the love of a true friend and not just the love of a servant for his master. This is truly shown when Frodo leaves Sam at the Grey Havens and Frodo leaves all his wealth and possesions to Sam. I think in the end, Frodo realized that Sam was the greatest friend he had ever had.

    Just my point of view.

    ~Ariana
     
    CirdanLinweilin likes this.
  16. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Finland
    IMHO it is very difficult to make out the degree of relationship between, well, any characters in the LotR. And I think I might know why: Tolkien's 'love stories' and friendships are displayed quite rigidly (Cf. Aragorn + Arwen) and are not much elaborated. The Arwen/Aragorn thing would appear to be something set up by Elrond, and that they only 'mingle' because it would look suitable. A partial culprit to this rigidness is, IMO, the kind of language Tolkien makes his characters use. In many situations it is correct, and only shows that the speaker has either great respect for the person to whom he is speaking or wishes to bring out a special aspect of themselves (Cf. Aragorn to Éomer); but in intimate relationships, love or friendship, I think it gives a misguided atmosphere. The only time Aragorn really 'lets his hair down' while speaking is when he and the Hobbits come across the stone trolls. He even cracks a joke! But when speaking with or about Arwen he seems too poetic and shakespearian for his own good.
    So it is a little difficult, at least for me, to say whether Frod and Sam were just master and servant, or true friends.
     
  17. Ravenna

    Ravenna Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    customer services operative
    Location:
    Somewhere a long way away from reality
    Home Page:
    You got there first Ariana! Just as I was deciding how to put it too. Total agreement here.:D

    By the way, Lantarion, I don't see Elrond setting up Aragorn and Arwen, surely he was, at least initially against the whole thing, knowing that if she married a mortal, Arwen would have to give up her elvenhood, I mean, look at the strict conditions he imposed before he would allow it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2002
  18. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Finland
    Yes, I know, I only implied that the tone and mood of their relationship was as though it was not a natural course of action (even though it was). :)
     
  19. Aslan

    Aslan Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Lumber Industry
    Location:
    Amidst the Woods-between-the-Worlds and Middle-Ear
    Home Page:
    I find it hard to distinguish the difference between master-servant or friends. Certainly Frodo is the master, but it is because Sam has chosen to be the servant. Many friendships are conducted in this manner, though I don't know why. So, I would say they are one and the same. Anyway, that is my never-so-humble opinion:D .
     
  20. Theoden

    Theoden Ruler of Rohan

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    350
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Golden Hall
    Home Page:
    I would have to agree with Aslan. The fact that Sam was Frodos servant might explain why Sam left the Shire with him. But the fact that Sam went all the way to Mordor with Frodo and carried him up the mountain where he was more afraid than he had ever been shows that there was a deep *deep, deep* friendship that was inplace.

    -me