Monday, April 12, 2021

Samwise Gamgee: The Greatest Hufflepuff

Just finished up watching Lord of the Rings for the first time in tens years (I know, I’m a bad geek; so just slap my wrists and let’s move on). As I watched the trilogy again with ten more years of life experience, I have one big takeaway: Frodo sucks.

You know who doesn’t suck though? Samwise Gamgee. Repeatedly throughout the series Frodo treated Sam very poorly and Sam just took it. Seriously, is there a character in fiction or reality more loyal than Sam? To put it in Potterhead terms, if any hobbit were a Hufflepuff, it would be Sam.

This point was driven home to me after Gollum destroyed the elven bread and framed Sam. Instead of siding with his best friend of countless years, Frodo decided he’d believe the scrawny little imp that was really planning his death. 

I think many of us have been there before. We’ve been betrayed or disappointed by people we trusted. Maybe it was a parent, a childhood friend, or a significant other. How could someone we loved so much take the other person’s side instead of ours, right? Whatever your situation, that kind of sting is hard to recover from. And yet Sam’s love for his friend was more powerful than that sting. He didn’t give up on Frodo, even when Frodo continually told him to leave.

In the end, it was only because of Sam that the Ring of Power was destroyed. They say the meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Meek meaning gentle, submissive, long-suffering, modest, humble… a list of traits all describing Samwise Gamgee. It was necessary for Middle Earth’s hero to be so humble and gentle… I don’t think anyone else could have given up the Ring so selflessly.

It’s even said that Tolkien himself considered Sam the chief hero of the series (though I can’t find a source confirming the comment). So the next time someone tells you that you have to be like Iron Man or Harry Potter to be a hero, tell them about Samwise Gamgee, the greatest Hufflepuff there is.

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