Written by Antane
So this is NOT my article, that's why the quotation marks - I just found this extremely great and thought this stands out better in this Articles section than in the Links.
In Love with Their Love
"The best prism to see Sam’s love for Frodo is through the words of a friend of mine who is not even familiar with the story, but has been told by friends about it, who states, “It’s the purest kind of love. From soul to soul.” She echoes, all unknowingly, The Gospel According to Tolkien
by Ralph C. Wood: “Sam and Frodo give incarnate life to what the Old Testament means when it describes a friend as a person ‘who is as your own soul.’ (Deut. 13:6). Their mutual regard is also akin to the friendship of Jonathan and David: ‘the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.’ (1 Sam 18:1). So is their bond like that between [Paul and Timothy as Paul writes:] “I thank God...when I remember you constantly in my prayers. As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy.” (2 Tim 1:3-4).”
Knitted souls is the most beautiful descriptions of their love. There is no other way to more accurately describe this wonderful friendship. Sam has always seen Frodo’s bright, shining soul and has loved it and him ever more and more, even when that soul becomes a very troubled, anguished, tormented one. He’s loved it and him since he was 9, at the latest (when a certain tween moved into Bag End), he was still loving it ever more at 109 if he lived that long. I would even dare say he was created to love it, since without that love Frodo would not have been able to accomplish what he was created to do. That is a rather profound (if I do say so myself) way of looking at it - that one person was specifically created to love another person. Of course, this love gets extended just as fiercely later to Rosie in a different way and to their many children and grandchildren and beforehand to Sam’s parents and siblings, but he was created first and foremost to love and take care of his Frodo. Sam’s behavior supports that he believes that too. He considers himself to belong to Frodo and Frodo to belong to him as someone who he is responsible for looking after. He will do whatever he needs to do to try to ease his dearest friend’s suffering. Frodo for his part enjoys possessing and being possessed by “my Sam”. In the Dead Marshes in the book, he calls Sam “...my dear hobbit, indeed Sam, my dearest hobbit, friend of friends...” A fan writer reassures the orphaned Frodo who never knew romantic love and hadn’t yet met Sam that he would still know “the greatest love that could be known.”
Indeed, Sam is love incarnate. He loves with God’s love. I ran across a quote from a rabbi that said, “Love is not blind. It sees more, not less but because it sees more, it is willing to see less.” The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen talked about being able to bear and love the unbeautiful because one had already seen the beautiful. That is how Sam can go on loving with skipping a beat even when a sword is pressed at his throat, or he is accused of being a thief by the one he loves most in the world or he has to watch his beloved master be slowly consumed by the Ring.
“You are worth what your heart is worth,” Pope John Paul II said. That makes Sam priceless.
Elijah Wood describes Frodo and Sam’s relationship as “Quite simply, it is love...It is that unconditional love that says, regardless of what you do or where you go, I will always be there for you.” He and Sean Astin grew very close on the set so it is that love also you see. Quoting Elijah again, “Every day we get up, come into work, put our hobbit feet on and off we go together, side by side every step of the way.” “We love each other very much,” he said in another interview and they weren’t afraid to show it either. Professor Tolkien called Sam “a jewel among hobbits.” Sean calls him “...the ultimate hobbit...he has an undying friendship with Frodo that is so strong, he’s willing to face the adventure of the unknown to help him.” He describes his relationship with Elijah to be one of brothers.
I read the books after I saw the films and my favorite parts were the growing love of Sam for Frodo, especially in Book Four and Six. It was the tower scene that really sealed it for me. It is such a wonderful, tender, loving scene that shows the purity and beauty of their love so well. When I reading the story for the first time, I read parts of it aloud to my family and could barely form the words to say that Frodo was being whipped. It was almost too painful to say, after all he had already suffered. It always had confused me in the film that Sam said “You can’t be walking around in nothing but your skin.” I thought, “What are you saying, he’s got pants on.” Well, I found out why he said that in the book and Sam thinks he could be happy for the rest of his life just holding Frodo and due to our corrupt age, I’m thinking in the back of my mind, “You’re holding a naked man in your arms and you think that’s the greatest thing in the world.” (Well, not a man, but you know what I mean.). But of course, Sam doesn’t see it that way - he sees it the correct way, the way I did after the initial shock wore off quickly enough - he’s holding his beloved master and that’s the greatest thing in the world. It is the most beautiful scene in the entire story. There is nothing erotic or sexual about it. The other scenes in the Fellowship book - the bath at Crickhollow and running around in the fields after the barrow-wights nearly had them - show how completely natural and unashamed the hobbits are around each other’s naked bodies. They think nothing of it. They are completely innocent and pure - one fan essay I read has it like Adam and Eve before the Fall. And that fits. And Tolkien was devoutly Catholic. He wouldn’t have written anything immoral. He already understood, 50 years ago, what Pope John Paul II taught about the Theology of the Body. It is only our society that has grown so corrupt that nakedness has to equal sexuality. It doesn’t and it didn’t in this story. So while Frodo was stretching his legs and I was shouting in my mind, “Put some clothes on!” I realized that I didn’t really have to do that. There was nothing there but complete love and trust on both parts.
Sam and Frodo passed through hell together and any sense that the Gaffer had drilled into Sam about his ‘place’ burned away in that purifying fire as Frodo became not Sam’s master, but more best friend, brother and even child. Sam recognized fully that his ‘place’ was at Frodo’s side, that they were no longer servant and master, but closer than blood brothers, sharing the same heart and soul.
Those many expressions of Sam’s love - kissing his beloved master’s brow or hands, promising to return to his body and never depart, nearly drowning in order to stay by Frodo’s side, fighting a spider a heck of a lot taller than he is and entering and singing in the enemy’s tower, holding Frodo while he slept, just to name a few - are my favorite parts in the books. The power of that love and how sweet and beautiful and tender it is really stayed with me. I really wasn’t looking forward to reading about the Grey Havens, knowing how badly Sam’s heart was broken in the film, but I was relieved it wasn’t so bad and in the book and the appendices revealed that he left for the Undying Lands himself after Rosie died. I do so hope he and Frodo were reunited at last. Imagine having to live without half of your heart and soul for over 60 years!
The movie showed their love very well too in all those tender smiles, words, embraces and looks throughout, especially in the tower and the Houses of Healing, that reverent farewell kiss. If we could all love and be loved that deeply and that purely (or as purely as Sam and Rose loved each other), then the world would be a much better place.
It is a great crime and sin that some ‘fans’ have written or drawn a total perversion of that completely pure and wonderful love and violate the innocence of these beautiful people, not to mention betraying the master storyteller himself and how he meant that love to be. Again quoting from The Gospel According to Tolkien: “Nor is Tolkien squeamish about having Sam express his love for Frodo physically, as he kisses Frodo’s hands, holds the sleeping Frodo’s head in his lap, and places his own hand on the somnolent Frodo’s breast. Whether in ancient hyper-masculine cultures or modern homoerotic cultures, such gestures are suspect. Not for Tolkien. Instead, he depicts Sam and Frodo’s friendship as a thing of exquisite beauty, even holiness. The most poignant account of their philia is found in the fair land of Ithilien...Sam beholds the sleeping Frodo as a friend whose worth is beyond all estimate.” And here he quotes my favorite scene from Book Four, that I will abbreviate slightly: “He was reminded suddenly of Frodo as he had lain, asleep in the house of Elrond, after his deadly wound. Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo’s face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful...[Sam] shook his head...and murmured: “I love him. He’s like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.” “These sentiments, felt and spoken at the edge of Mordor, reveal the ultimate distance between the Fellowship and their enemies. None of Sauron’s slaves can be imagined as ever uttering such a simple sentence as ‘I love him.”
Sam loves Frodo, at least, if not more, fiercely as he loves Rosie, though of course in a different way. Rosie is half of Sam’s heart, but Frodo is the other half. One professional essay says Sam’s love approaches ‘religious devotion’ by the third book and after they return he ‘longs to stay with Frodo forever’ but he also wants to be with Rosie. (Marion Zimmer Bradley, from Understanding the Lord of the Rings
). The editors of that collection of essays “devoutly wished” her essay would put to rest the misunderstandings regarding this relationship. Too bad it didn’t.
Some people can’t understand that Sam’s love for Frodo is just as strong as his for Rosie’s, but that I would say is Prof. Tolkien’s view of it and those fan writers who see the truth and the way I see things. I have up on the refrigerator a small picture of Frodo and Sam. Frodo is looking fearfully into the distance and Sam is, of course, looking protectively at him and you can hear them saying, “I’m afraid, Sam.” and his Sam replying, “Don’t be, dear. I am here. I am not going to leave you. I’m going to take care of you.” One fan calls Frodo, Sam’s heart’s “dearest treasure” and this she calls him after they’ve been separated physically, but not in their hearts, for over 60 years! Such is the strength of this cumulative, ever deepening, marvelous love story that is theirs that unfolds over the three books. One fan writer calls Frodo and Sam’s love the “most beautiful bond in literature.”
I think it’s wonderful that their story can be called a love story - what else could it be called? Yes, they are “more than friends” as the slashers love to say, but not the way they mean it. They are brothers, not lovers. The intensity of their love is the love that men sometimes form in combat, so strong that it even surpasses the love of women and anything else. One fan story I read has Sam never marrying, but devoting his life to taking care of his Frodo. Frodo never went West because he couldn’t bear to part from Sam. He still had his anniversary illnesses, but he knew he was loved and he was going to slowly heal that way. Oh, to be loved that much, to be the center of someone’s universe like that!
As you well know, I’m writing my own love stories and I am emulating the master as best I can. These are the most unusual love stories I have ever written, but I glory that I can do it. I rejoice to be among such wonderful kindred spirits I have discovered who have the same love for Frodo and Sam and their love that I do and it’s so satisfying to draw inspiration from them for my own writing as well from the master that we all draw from. I love the idea some have put forth that Frodo and Sam were very close even in childhood, that their love already had deep roots before the Quest made them even closer than brothers, such an essential part of each other’s heart and soul that each needed the other to be completely whole. Reading other people’s reverent interpretations of Frodo has given more a greater love for him, a greater heartache for all he suffered, a much deeper appreciation of all he sacrificed and what a gentle, loving heart he had to give so much, everything really, for the Shire and its people. My heart has been broken more than once, tears have come to my eyes - it has been a long time since that has happened and it’s wonderful! The stories also remind me that Merry and Pippin love Frodo just as much as Sam does and he loves them just as dearly. Some of the stories have detailed how joyous and loving Frodo’s relationship with his younger cousins were and it is so sad that the Ring destroyed any more possibility of such joy and light, though of course, the love remained. I am just so glad to have all of these writers so I can stay in Middle-earth that much longer with my beloved hobbits - all four of them! May their love live forever!
I have discovered though that it's a very personal thing to be able to handle or not this type of such openly demonstrative love. I had to get used to it myself. As I said I was thrown off when I first read the tower scene and in fan stories when Merry called Pippin “dearest” or Sam called Frodo “my love” or Pippin asked Merry if he could sleep with him. It is the pagan society that we are immersed in unfortunately that has us see things the wrong way at first, but now I consider it the most beautiful expression of love there is. Pippin asking Merry if he can share his bed is the same as one of my nieces asking her sister. It’s love for a beloved cousin, not lust, that is motivating that request. The three cousins have been doing it all their lives and are more comfortable being together than apart. There is nothing they love more than a good cuddle. They mean the world to each other and don’t mind showing it. It would be against their nature not to. It just pours out of them. One fan put it very well when she said, “They are adults but they love like children.” They aren’t afraid of holding each other or kissing each other on the head goodnight or saying “I love you” or whatever and during and after the Quest that extends to Sam and how he treats Frodo. The beauty and purity of this love is that it's between two males. When I'm writing it, I am celebrating in the back of my head that it can be done that way, but in front I don't think of them as males, but just two souls that dearly love each other. It's kinda like you didn't see Sulu and Chekov from the original Star Trek
as Asian and Russian, you just saw Sulu and Chekov. That's a very weak analogy, but it's like you are seeing them as who they really are, not what race they were. The four hobbits see much deeper, they love the soul of their beloved. That is what I’m writing about. Our beloved hobbits don't suffer from the terrible affliction that boys and men in our society have in that they can't show affection to other men without being thought of as sissies or worse except when they get the winning home run or something.
So I’ve decided based on very mixed reviews of this tolerance level within my family and a few friends to take an informal survey to try to determine what is so special hobbity love and why some people can handle such a high level of affection between them and some can’t. I have a male friend who is married and thought “Worth Fighting For” showed the “purity and innocence” of their love. I have another male married friend who thinks Sam’s love is “too pure”. My family gags on it and you, dearest reviewers, love it. I have female friend who has known romantic love as well who said “I love hobbity love, especially yours.” I have another married friend who hasn’t had the time to read my stuff yet, but said that “Frodo and Sam love each other.” He placed a special emphasis on love and he had the correct understanding of it. I can’t figure out all these mixed reviews, hence this little survey.
So, dear readers and dearer reviewers, what is the best part about hobbity love? If you wouldn’t mind terribly, please tell me whether you are married or not and whether the fact that you know romantic love yourself colors the way you would see a love that is completely pure but it on the surface expressed in much the same way romantic love is. If I have any male readers, I’d like to know that too.
Hantanyel and Namarie,
If you have a Facebook account, please join this group to support the truth and Tolkien's meaningful work: Frodo and Sam do not have a homosexual relationship!!!
But Facebook is filled with the false gay-relationship groups. That's why the cause needs support particularry there in Facebook.