Sam isn’t the smartest. He doesn’t think he’s brave. He’s not the “hero type.” Yet he rises to the challenges he faces in a way that puts any hero to shame. He’s humble. He’s generous. He doesn’t think of himself. Even when he’s lost hope, he keeps on going, because he’s not the giving-up type. He’s tougher, stronger, braver, and more important than he thinks he is.
He’s a friend when Frodo really needs a friend… a true friend, the kind that pushes you to be better than you really are. The kind of friend that picks you up when you’re down, but doesn’t take any excuses either.
I’m sure most of you have read The Lord of the Rings, and probably have seen the movies too. It’s been a long time since I read the books, but I think, years ago when I read them, I missed how important Sam was. Sure, he helped Frodo, but I kind of skimmed over his importance in the story. After all, he was the servant, and Frodo was the Ring-Bearer. I liked how the movies treated his character. The casting was wonderful, the acting was superb, and everything just worked as they brought the story life. The movies respected his character and gave Sam the credit he deserved, without minimizing any of the other amazing characters.
I’d love to include a photo of Sean Astin as Sam, but I can’t find one that is Creative Commons licensed (which isn’t really surprising). So… just go watch the movies again, and read the books again, and tell me if you feel the same way about Sam. I haven’t seen many other sidekick characters that are as heroic as Sam without taking over the story completely.