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There are many recurring themes in ďThe Lord Of The RingsĒ (LOTR), such as courage, humility, wisdom and many others but the most important one is often found to be friendship. How easy it is to say I have a friend, but what is a friend? It can be defined in many ways. For some it is someone who will always stick with you, or maybe someone that will always be true to you. For me, a true friend is something I couldnít live without, I wish everyone could understand how lucky one is to have a true friend, something that some never find. The Britannica encyclopedia defines a friend as ďa favored companionĒ or ďone attached to another by affection or esteemĒ; while Encarta defines a friend as ďsomebody emotionally close to another; somebody who has a close personal relationship of mutual affection and trust with anotherĒ. It might sound pathetic but that is nothing close to what a friend is, for a friend is nothing you can describe; it is a feeling.

Although many will disagree with me, in LOTR friendship is all but stressed. There are many different kinds of friendships we can learn about in the book. The first we see is different from the kind of friendship we all know, itís not the 2-people-best-friends kind of friendship. Frodo, is a lucky lad, he has all he wants in life, he is free and happy living in the Shire and all is well, but some of his biggest treasures are his friends, and he will find out how good they are when three of them refuse to be left behind when he has to take the Ring to Imladris. Merry, Pippin and Sam are not what we would consider true friends, they are far from the general idea of a friend. They are annoying, they spy on Frodo and often play jokes and tricks on him. This is what we would never want around, but people say ďtrue friends are there in the time of needĒ and that is true for Pippin, Merry and Sam. They stick with Frodo, we donít know whether they realize what a burden it is going to be for them, but they still go with him. The fact that they do not know what they are getting into makes them even more brave. But their friendship is soon divided, after the breaking of the fellowship, Frodo and Sam go on their way together towards Mordor, and Pippin and Merry find themselves kidnapped by orcs. Here something new begins.

Frodo and Sam. Although writing a sentence without a verb is grammatically incorrect those three words are enough to express a million things: strength, courage, faith, sacrifice and suffering, but most of all friendship. Friendship, being together is what got Sam and Frodo through all they had to do to save Middle Earth. There is a great evolution in their relationship. In the beginning they were friends, but Sam was only the gardener. With time passing Frodo and Sam become the best of friends. They find something new in each other. It begins when Frodo has to take the Ring to Bree, and Sam is told never to abandon him, ďDon't you leave him! they said to me. Leave him! I said. I never mean to. I am going with him, if he climbs the moon, and if any of those Black Riders try to stop him, they'll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with, I said.Ē This is the first sign that Sam is going to follow Frodo anywhere he will go. Although Sam doesnít know yet that Frodo will decide to go to Mordor to destroy the Ring, his heart is set in helping him through all he will have to suffer. Sam is not as aware of the perils that he will risk to run into. But SamĎs wisdom and courage grow throughout the journey and he comes to a point where his support is the only thing that helps Frodo make it through. Frodo is not always happy to have Sam around, in times of lucidity, the more bad things happen the more he would want to go alone, and not make Sam go through the same things he must; but then heywhen the tide comes he fully relies on Sam to help him through. When they both abandon the Fellowship to go on their journey by themselves, Frodo says, ďI am glad you are here with me, Sam. Here at the end of all things, Sam.Ē

Even if, Frodo is the main character, Pippin and Merry play a very important role in the book. Their friendship was already very strong in the beginning. They were known as the troublemakers. Time makes them grow, and in the end Pippin and Merry are two new hobbits, courage and strength grow in them, along with wisdom. Their bravery will be recognized by many, but most of all by themselves. They find in each other what is needed to change, to grow and to still stay the same. They are friends forever, they do not desire to change, and in their eyes they donít, but people around them now see them for what they really are, hobbits, but even in honor and courage to any other race of Middle Earth.

Although friends are hard to find, they are harder to keep. Sam has to go through a lot. Frodo often insults him, and treats him badly, but Sam doesnít leave him. Sam knows why Frodo is so susceptible and nervous, he knows that the Ring is taking a hold of him. Both Frodo and Sam are aware of it, but Frodo canít admit it. Sam is all that Frodo has with him to help him, and he knows, that Sam will never leave him, because he is a true friend. Pippin and Merry have gone through their childhood and teen hood living in a place far from peril and evil, sadness and war. They have never known loneliness of heart and solitude, and their friendship is all that keeps them from dying. They help each other, pass strength and courage on to one another when it seems like hope is lost. Even if these four hobbits are all friends, and make closer friendships in between them, there is one things that keeps them close to each other and keeps them alive, hope. Sam gives Frodo everything he needs, and even more. He is happy, outgoing, and always knows what to say to make Frodo feel better. Hope is all that keeps Sam alive throughout the journey. Samís sacrifice is Frodoís fortune. Sam finds in his friendship, in his platonic love for Frodo, all the hope he needs to go on. The hope to come home to Rosie and to see the Shire again, Sam uses those wonderful memories to go on, and help Frodo go on too. Pippin and Merry use their hope to go home to fight in their own way Sauron. They have high hopes to save the world, and see the Shire again, and that gets them though so much.

Everyday of hour lives we have to get through something: a test, a fight, or even just a doctor appointment that gets us a bit uneasy. Everything that can seem easy to someone else can be hard to another, the important thing is to face everything as bravely and seriously as itís needed or is possible. The right choice might not be the easiest one to take, leaving all behind like the hobbits did was a great act of sacrifice for a friend, and probably none of us will ever have to risk our lives for someone else. Anyhow, if we did have to risk our lives, the important thing, would be to be convinced that what we are doing is the right thing to do. As Galadriel said, ďEven the smallest creature can change the course of the FutureĒ. so when you donít know how to get through someone, you can count on the love of your true friends.

I have deleted the previous posts, I am looking forward to seeing who can reply with something that will do justice to such a beautiful post and good start to a positive and interesting to read thread.
I really love what you've said (sorry I didn't reply earlier) and I have a clearer understanding of friendship because of you. Thanks for sharing, Arwen. Smile Smilie
Feawen
Thanks you guys, you made me feel a whole lot better.
Itís a very long and very beautiful post about friendship! Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie One of my favourite subjects. Big Smile Smilie For me the friendship between the characters, especially Frodo and Sam, is the most attractive part of the story. I think I have said this somewhere before, so excuse me if Iím repeating myself. What LOTR shows so well, is that friendship is a kind of love. I think many people these days forget that. There are different kinds of love: the love between husband and wife of course, but also the love between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, between friends, between humans and animals like pets and so on. Itís all love, but they feel differently. The love you feel for your husband is different from the love you feel for your brother and is different from the love you feel for a friend. Lately the word Ďfriendí is used very lightly. Very often acquaintances are called friends. How often donít we say in a conversation: ĎYes, a friend of mine had the same problemí, while actually we mean Ďsomeone we knowí. Friendship is love and it is not wrong to show that love. Some people believe the love between Sam and Frodo is more a sexual kind of love, believing Tolkien meant them to be some kind of lovers. I donít know if Tolkien meant it that way. Who am I to say those people are wrong. But I donít see it that way. Why canít friends hug or give a kiss on the forehead for comfort? Girls hugging each other also seems to be more accepted than boys hugging. Why? It gets even more complicated when a boy and a girl hug, because people might think they are more than friends. If you have a friend, someone who is dear to you, whatís wrong with hugging him. It is true the edges between the different kinds of love arenít sharp but rather blurred.

An other problem about friendship in our world is that different people give a different meaning to friendship. I have many people I call friends. We meet on regular basis, exchange stories about work, children, vacations, but everything remains rather shallow. We donít talk about deep emotions or even common emotions, we donít talk about our fears, weaknesses our doubts. I had three, and now I only have two, true friends. With them I can be fully myself, with my strengths and my weaknesses, I can talk about anything on my mind and when I need them, I can call them and they will be there for me. This, for me, is the real meaning of friendship. Not so long ago I lost one of my true friends. It was our first fight, a fight about the meaning of being a true friend. For me Sam is the ultimate friend, the real true friend. Sam did sacrifice everything for Frodo.
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Sam has to go through a lot. Frodo often insults him, and treats him badly, but Sam doesnít leave him. Sam knows why Frodo is so susceptible and nervous, he knows that the Ring is taking a hold of him. Both Frodo and Sam are aware of it, but Frodo canít admit it. Sam is all that Frodo has with him to help him, and he knows, that Sam will never leave him, because he is a true friend.

But back then, Sam wasnít married yet. He didnít have any children. What would Sam have done when he was married with Rosie and had children?
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Well, Sam,' said Frodo. 'I want you to see Rose and find out if she can spare you, so that you and I can go off together. You can't go far or for a long time now, of course,' he said a little wistfully.
'Well, not very well, Mr. Frodo.'
'Of course not. But never mind. You can see me on my way. Tell Rose that you won't be away very long, not more than a fortnight; and you'll come back quite safe.'
'I wish I could go all the way with you to Rivendell, Mr. Frodo, and see Mr. Bilbo,' said Sam. 'And yet the only place I really want to be in is here. I am that torn in two.'

Of course this situation isnít comparable with the journey to destroy the Ring. Does this mean Sam isnít such a good friend anymore? I donít think so. I believe, had Sam still been alone, he would have gone with Frodo no matter how far. But there were other people in his life now, who also needed him. So what is a true friend? If you ask me, someone who loves you very dearly, who cares for you, someone you can thrust.

One last thing about the friendship between the hobbits. Frodo, Merry and Pippin are not only good friends, but also relatives, family. Sam is the only one who isnít related to them.
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Merry, Pippin and Sam are not what we would consider true friends, they are far from the general idea of a friend. They are annoying, they spy on Frodo and often play jokes and tricks on him. This is what we would never want around, but people say ďtrue friends are there in the time of needĒ and that is true for Pippin, Merry and Sam.

I donít consider them not good friends because they play jokes and tricks on them. I donít think they meant to hurt him, just tease him. They were still very young! And about the spying. They did that to help him. I was very moved when Merry arranged everything to leave the Shire.

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The right choice might not be the easiest one to take, leaving all behind like the hobbits did was a great act of sacrifice for a friend, and probably none of us will ever have to risk our lives for someone else.

I think during the several wars this planet has known, many people risked their lives for loved ones. And who knows when we are at some point in life confronted with such times, some of us might do the same.
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I donít consider them not good friends because they play jokes and tricks on them. I donít think they meant to hurt him, just tease him. They were still very young! And about the spying. They did that to help him. I was very moved when Merry arranged everything to leave the Shire.
I love to read this part in the book. I really makes me smile. Nobody else noticed Frodo was acting strangly (well he was a Baggins, so i guess strange behaviour was normal Wink Smilie ). Nobody else saw he was sad and worried. Noone spent so much time and effort to make secret plans to surprice him and to leave everything to go with him. They could have ignored it. They could have not 'forced' sam to spy on Frodo. They didn't have to do anything. They didn't have to go anywhere. But they did. Of course the urge to adventure was in their blood, but they still didn't have too.

Sam didn't have it in his blood and I think he might not have gone at all without the others 'pushing'/encourage him). He is just a regular, bighearted, faithful hobbit. Hard to say if he would, I'm sure he'd feel awful if he didn't go. . He'd probably run after him. *lol* beacuse what would poor Frodo do without sam?

I'm also sure merry and Pippin would have gone to Mordor with Frodo too if they had a choice (and hadn't been hobbitnapped). But then everything would have been different. They were ment for great things.
Very, VERY well spoken Arwen!!

I just loved reading your post, and you really made me think while reading it!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and i'm looking forward to seeing your next one Big Smile Smilie

Perwing
Oh.. wait... I'm having a premonition! We elves have that you know. I see... Arwen is gonna get what she deserves. Something is comming for Arwen... it is.. shiny and.... precious... It is.. a mithril reward!! Big Smile Smilie
Hi you guys! Thanks, you were all so nice!

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Itís a very long and very beautiful post about friendship!


Thank you so much! Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie

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But back then, Sam wasnít married yet. He didnít have any children. What would Sam have done when he was married with Rosie and had children?


I think he would have gone, because, even though he had a family he still had a special relationship with Frodo, they were like brothers, and they would have followed each other anywhere. I think Sam would have been sad to leave his family, but if in his heart he knew Frodo really needed him, he would have gone anyway. Happy Elf Smilie

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Well, Sam,' said Frodo. 'I want you to see Rose and find out if she can spare you, so that you and I can go off together. You can't go far or for a long time now, of course,' he said a little wistfully.
'Well, not very well, Mr. Frodo.'
'Of course not. But never mind. You can see me on my way. Tell Rose that you won't be away very long, not more than a fortnight; and you'll come back quite safe.'
'I wish I could go all the way with you to Rivendell, Mr. Frodo, and see Mr. Bilbo,' said Sam. 'And yet the only place I really want to be in is here. I am that torn in two.'

Of course this situation isnít comparable with the journey to destroy the Ring. Does this mean Sam isnít such a good friend anymore? I donít think so. I believe, had Sam still been alone, he would have gone with Frodo no matter how far. But there were other people in his life now, who also needed him. So what is a true friend? If you ask me, someone who loves you very dearly, who cares for you, someone you can thrust.


As i said before, if Frodo really had a problem, I think Sam would have been there, family or not.

Thank you Gnampie for answering to my post, and giving it a new life, something new to dabate about, and thank you for sharing your own story, which I decided not to do. I was afraid that not giving personal experiences would have made my post worse, but you took care of that. Thank you very much.

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love to read this part in the book. I really makes me smile. Nobody else noticed Frodo was acting strangly (well he was a Baggins, so i guess strange behaviour was normal ). Nobody else saw he was sad and worried. Noone spent so much time and effort to make secret plans to surprice him and to leave everything to go with him. They could have ignored it. They could have not 'forced' sam to spy on Frodo. They didn't have to do anything. They didn't have to go anywhere. But they did. Of course the urge to adventure was in their blood, but they still didn't have too


Very true, we should pay more attention to little details.

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Very, VERY well spoken Arwen!!

I just loved reading your post, and you really made me think while reading it!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and i'm looking forward to seeing your next one

Perwing


Awww thank you Perwing, you know how much this means to me, writing is all I have to give you guys something true about myself, something that will stay with you, and will not be just like a virtual hug. Thanks. And I will work on my next post, and it'll be for you. Smile Smilie

Ps--> I like ur Bunny, it is adorable just like you.

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Oh.. wait... I'm having a premonition! We elves have that you know. I see... Arwen is gonna get what she deserves. Something is comming for Arwen... it is.. shiny and.... precious... It is.. a mithril reward!!


Well thanks, but I don't think I deserve anything like that, I just wrote what I felt, what I had inside and what I wanted you guys to see, so if you felt it alreday you would know somebody else felt the same way, and if you didn't you had a chance to think about it.
Thanks, AmariŽ.

I'm glad u removed those posts Taz! They were annoying!

And as I had said in the post that got deleted, Ur post was good, no make it great! Made me think!

But I dunno, This is a subject one can talk on and on and still reach nowhere if u get wat I mean. But friendship is an emotion as well as a need. Its something that u'll have foreva in ur life (unless of course u decide to chuck one Wink Smilie ) I like to have friends and make friends but I don't want friendship to be a one-way. I want friends who will care about me as mch as I do about them. And I'm proud to say that I've got gr8 friends. Friendship is ur first way to learn to be social beings. We spend or time with friends and at the same time learn to behave in a company or with other ppl. Am I sonding too bsiness like? Maybe! But I haven't got time now to say anything else. I'll try to post later here!
That was very nice Aragorn and thanks!

Ps--> If I see you with Eowyn once more, it'll be the last woman you lay eyes on, I am your wife not anyone else! Wink Smilie Wink Smilie

Namarie,
Arwen
Great post, Arwen! Inspiring, that's the word for it, I guess! Indead, true friends are hard to find; once you do find them, though, you have to be very cautious not to lose them... That's all I have to say, for now...

Namarie, mellon!