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Thread: Sam's Inspiring Speech

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Hello Nillammenwen, nice to have you at our forum!

And yes it was a good speech by Sam.
Sam's speech was really good...it does sound sort of sappy but it's pretty emotional in the way that PJ made it look like with the voice over. Hmmm wasn't that added on during the re-shots in summer, I think I read that somewhere so I don't know it it's true or not.
Yes Sam's speech, it's just completely Sam. There's just something about hobbits and their optimism for the future, their whole outlook on life...
Well said Rossie, it epitomizes Sam's character and nicely wraps up the whole reason for the quest.
Thanks everyone for such a nice welcome! I'm glad there are other people who agree with me, i was trying to explain it to some of my family but they just didn't understand. I hope i'll post replies in the forums more often now!
I actually didn't like it, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more ardent Sam supporter on this site... I don't think it sounded like Sam
I think that's why i found it so touching, swampfaye. You're right, it probably wasn't a thing Sam would normally say and that's what makes it special, because this one little ring that his master has is causing so much termoil and heartache it's making Sam pour out feelings like that. He's really bent on helping Frodo accomplish the task and he doesn't like seeing him so desperate. Something really moving like that speech is just what the movie needed at that time, and it made it more important that it was coming from Sam, the hobbit that seems mostly unimportant until then.
Hi Nillammenwen!!
I remember a line Sam says when he's talking to Frodo: "...There is some good in this world, master Frodo, and it's worth fighting for." I think that's how it goes? I just remembered it because I was surprised that he said some good, as in only a little, but it's still worth this whole huge war... Ok, I can't really express what I'm trying to say but I hope you understand
It's ok elentari, i know what you mean. Actually, i was thinking about that too and i thought it was a bit funny, but i still love what he said.
I was surprised that he said some good, as in only a little, but it's still worth this whole huge war...

I actually thought the wording was very good in that part. It seemed like he was saying that no matter how bad the word may seem, if there's any little bit of good at all, it's worth everything to find it. I think that's very true, and so, to me, at least, this particular line is really touching.
I think that's very true, and so, to me, at least, this particular line is really touching.

I know, I know, that's actually the reason why I remembered it so well, because I thought that it's exactly how I feel. I just thought that it was a bit strange for Sam... because in the first place he only went on this quest because of Frodo, not the ring. But now I realize that he was the one to cheer Frodo up all the time and if he didn't give him hope and a reason to continue the quest Frodo wouldn't have done it without him.
This is a great post Nillammenwen!
Sam's speech in the end of the movie was very touching.The way he was refering to those "folks in the great stories".And when he said that, I presume he meant "folks" in the Gaffer's stories he was listening in the inn.Imagine all those tales about great kings and fogotten heroes.No wonder he got inspired by them.When I was listening to his speech I really wish I was in Middle-Earth.And the speech itself was very good."How can the world go back to the way it was after so much bad happened".It was good...especially when you see it on the big screen...and the music was very good too.And on the background you can see the battle at Helm's Deep and Theoden's shout of "Victory" and the look of Aragorn when he heard it...it was like a 100 kg. rock fell of his heart.Then you can see the Ents at Isengard along with Merry and Pippin.
It was very beautiful.As a matter of fact I think Sam's speech was the most touching scene of the whole movie.In the end you can see that Samwise is wise and he is not there just to support Frodo(although the whole speech was meant to help Frodo).And yes I believe there is some good at this world at it's worth fighting for it.
Alright I got a little carried away but I really think so...

[Edited on 12/4/2003 by Elda]
I was surprised that he said some good, as in only a little, but it's still worth this whole huge war...

I actually thought the wording was very good in that part. It seemed like he was saying that no matter how bad the word may seem, if there's any little bit of good at all, it's worth everything to find it. I think that's very true, and so, to me, at least, this particular line is really touching.

Yes I completely agree....He meant that no matter how cruel and evil the world is there is always some good and that good is worth risking you life for....He said this to Frodo when Frodo was really doubting why they were even trying to get to mount doom and do the ringbusiness....but then again...Hobbits are really remarkable folk.....you might think you know them but after a hundred years they can still surprise you....just like me old gaffer Gandalf saidTongue Smilie hahahhaha Big Laugh Smilie
Wow! I'm surprised that speech worked for so many people; in the theaters where I was (and I confess even myself), people were listening to it only halfway, because it was so much "and the moral of the story is". It seemed to me most people were letting Sam's voice go in one ear and out the other while watching the cool climactic visuals.

I am glad it worked for people so well. For me, it... well, it just didn't feel necessary and it seemed a little "off" from the thrust of the story. Then again, much else in TTT felt that way to me. (I love the movie anyway, but found FOTR's more delicate touch to be a better approach).

There's a few reasons I had problems with it.

First, Tolkien is so adamantly against allegory. "Applicability" is fine, but when you start going in for allegoray, parable, "lesson stories", that's not really what LOTR is about. It can't be distilled into one theme, one lesson, one "postBody". If it can be, then you've lost a lot of it.

(If you don't know what I mean by "allegory/applicability", reread his comments on this in the Foreward. It's a fairly key thing to understand about LOTR.)

Second, it was very long. That sounds odd coming from me! But again, I prefer Tolkien's more subtle approach. The speech was inspired by Tolkien's "I wonder if we'll ever be in any tales" conversation between Sam and Frodo, vestiges of which show up in the very last scene of the film too. The great long speech in the scene before it sort of overshadows that, which is a pity. Much was gotten across in Tolkien's wording in a few lines. I don't see the need to hammer it with a two-by-four.

Third, meta-narrative is a dangerous thing to do. Tolkien pulled off his characters talking about themselves in their own story. Peter S. Beagle does it in The Last Unicorn, another work of genius sprung from mythical traditions. But when Beagle had his story adapted for a movie they clipped that part (admittedly because the movie version was obviously aimed at a younger audience than the book). It's hard enough to write meta-narrative well in a book; it's harder onscreen. So PJ lengthened and expanded it to get across what Tolkien said (and many things he did not say) in clear, pedantic lines that come perilously close to moralizing. Again, though, I see it worked for you, so maybe my complaint about it being too simplistic is just my own tastes at work here.

Fourth, I felt the postBody here was at odds with one basic theme of Tolkien. That is "the Long Defeat". It's not true in The Hobbit, but both LOTR and The Silmarillion portray, over and over, the courage of people taking on hopeless causes, not because they think they actually may be able to pull it off, or survive it, but because it ought to be done, or they must, or they have an oath. "little hope" versus "no hope" are almost the first words in Tolkien's Foreword to the revised ed. of LOTR.

Beren went to get a Silmaril sure he would fail. There are tons of last stands in the Silmarillion. Think of Húrin and Huor covering the retreat of Turgon. Think of Fingon beating on the gates of Morgoth. Think of Elwing jumping into the sea.

In LOTR, you have Frodo defying the Ringwraiths early on with that fabulous speech I miss so much. But it's also in contrast to his fighting the wight, when he is convinced he has no hope but fights anyway.

And Aragorn takes charge of the party this way (a rather different Aragorn from the films):

'Farewell, Gandalf!' he cried. 'Did I not say to you: if you pass the doors to Moria, beware! Alas that I spoke true! What hope have we without you?'
He turned to the Company. 'We must do without hope,' he said. 'At least we may be avenged.

The Three Hunters go after Merry and Pippin as long as there is hope, and even when they believe there is none.

At the Council, Erestor says to take the Ring to the Fire or to hide it are "beyond our power", and Elrond returns that they must try the latter: "There lies our hope, if hope it be."

Gandalf himself later describes the quest as "a fool's hope".

Even the Wise understand the slimness of hope. Jackson plays on this theme a great deal in the movies, punning on Aragorn's birth-name, Estel, which is probably also Tolkien's intention. But Jackson usually plays with it a little differently. There is no hope in Rohan, says Eomer, nor hope in Gondor, says Boromir. Each time the look in Aragorn's eyes says: "I will come there." Arwen repeats, over and over, that "there is still hope." The theme of "the Long Defeat" is alluded to between Elrond and Galariel, but in the movie, Elrond is portrayed as without any hope, and others with, making a strong opposition between him and those who still believe. I suspect the "change" in Elrond's character that will resolve him by the end of the movies is that he will acknowledge hope.

In Tolkien it's more complicated than that: all these characters are struggling between hope and hopelessness, and (as Aragorn later says) at such times the two are akin.

Think of Théoden, too. Once released by Gandalf, in the books, his attitude is not the cautious dithering of the one in the films-- he is determined to go out fighting the fight he must, even if he dies or fails: better that than to wait for the end like a badger caught in a trap.

"I don't suppose we'll ever see them again."
Frodo had little hope even in FOTR, and it is quite clear in ROTK that he has not only lost hope, but can't even remember what Sam's speech is describing in the movie or what he's fighting for: he can't remember the Shire. Also I don't think he ever says he's helping Gollum because "I have to believe he can come back," referring to himself indirectly. I don't deny that it seems to be a subtext in Tolkien, but I don't recall it ever being spelled out so clearly. I suppose this is something you have to do for a movie audience that doesn't have the time (or inclination) to reflect on the story as it unfolds before them, but I prefer for them to miss the finer points than to make the finer points unrefined.

Most of all... and this is a spoiler to ROTK so lemme skip some space...

Even when Minas Tirith is freed, Gandalf acknowledges Denethor was right: "against the power that now arises there can be no victory". In the films, Saruman preaches such things, and we are not daunted, feeling our hearts rise up to defy the craven counsels of the enemy. But in the books, that is exactly the principle under which the quest operates from start to finish. There is no hope, so try a hopeless solution-- send some not chosen for strength, wits, or greatness to do the impossible.

Meanwhile the Great are throwing their lives away. Remember why Aragorn takes the Captains of the West to the Black Gate? It is not for victory. They know they cannot win that battle, and almost certainly will be slain. But that, they deem, is their duty (I can't remember whether it's Aragorn or Gandalf who says those exact words). They are sacrificing themselves hoping on the very, very mininscule chance that it may help Frodo get to the mountain, by drawing all of Sauron's might on themselves.

Therefore I prefer Faramir's single line, "Then my life is forefeit", to Sam's entire speech. I think it is one of the better alterations Jackson introduced to the story. It's not in the book like that. In the book, Faramir simply remarks that he needs to consider options very carefully, because if he makes a mistakes that injures his people, then he ought to atone for it with his life. There is no death sentence hanging over him.

By inventing one, Jackson manages to compress this whole idea of self-sacrifice for nearly hopeless causes. The movie's Faramir recognized soon after we saw him that Minas Tirith couldn't defend itself against Mordor, and his cause was hopeless, yet he must go on anyway. Frodo has just told Sam "I can't do this", but wants to try anyway. As I remarked in my Faramir blog, I think Faramir's "we understand one another" refers to this. In this conversation, in this interaction, you get a far more subtle and in some ways far more powerful subtext than Sam's "we'll save the day" pep talk.

Sam is still innocent. Frodo is touched by the Ring, and Faramir is touched by it too, in a way (if nothing else through the loss of his brother). They are operating in a different world from Sam, where you do what you must, in spite of the hopelessness of it. "It has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them."

That is not the postBody Hollywood likes to deliver. They want Bilbo's "and he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days."

Few people actually do. Most people lose things. I think it very important that this theme, partly borne of Tolkien losing all but one friend in the trenches in WWI, be understood, because it shows us-- rather more subtly than Sam's people talk-- that hardships and life go hand in hand, and even failure, but we can and should perservere.

Arwen's fate is more emblematic of the way Tolkien's concept of "hope" tends to work: hope and victory are always marred, yet that does not negate them. Jackson occasionally catches a hint of that: Elrond's speech to Arwen is devastating. But Jackson seldom strives to aim for Tolkien's middle ground where hope and despair are akin. He does have elements of it, but Sam's speech overshadows them so much that the more complex postBody (I think) is lost in the shuffle.

[Edited on 4/29/03 by sepdet]
sepdet: Thanks for separating the paragraphs, this was much easier to read and I didn't get hopelessly bogged down looking for where I had lost my place.

In 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' as immortalized by Tennyson, the riding into the mouth's of those cannon was a hopeless cause, but they did it anyway, as it was their duty to follow the orders of their superior officers even unto the death. That a few actually succeeded in reaching the enemy guns made their deaths heroic, but the tragedy of that hopeless event was that those orders had been misinterpreted, they hadn't been meant to make that useless charge with its ensuing loss of life. It was a senseless waste, however the men making it didn't know that; they carried it out with honor.

Even Faramir's trying to hold the enemy from crossing at Osgiliath was hopeless, but his endeavor bought enough time for the Rohirrim to reach Minas Tirith before the Army of the Nazgul did more than barely cross the threshold.