Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Monday, December 22, 2003  

Give the Hobbit a Break

This commentary on the LOTR movie version and Tolkien's vision go a long way to justifying my own comments here.

So in the movies, though we still get a brave and good-hearted Frodo, we get less of a sense, for instance, of exactly why Sam is so devoted to his master and friend and why he looks up to him. Tolkien, on the other hand, had no trouble at all explaining it, in passages like this: It had always been a notion of [Sam's] that the kindness of dear Mr. Frodo was of such a high degree that it must imply a fair measure of blindness. Of course, he also firmly held the incompatible belief that Mr. Frodo was the wisest person in the world.

Tolkien's original Frodo, though he starts out a bit naive, is a morally rich, exceptionally mature character. As he struggles against the ring's control, he actually grows in wisdom and moral stature, reflecting what Tolkien called in a letter the theme of the ennoblement (or sanctification) of the humble. And though he is not always able to be as steadfast as Sam, the often overlooked truth is that Sam doesn't have to fight the same battle Frodo does. Which is why I've always thought that honoring Sam over Frodo, honorable and faithful though Sam is, is a bit like honoring Simon of Cyrene over Christ.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 8:34 AM |