The Faces of Sam: A collection of favorite Tolkien passages about Sam

Compiled by grammaboodawg


This is for Sam... the torch bearer of hope, faith and generosity... portrayed by a man of equal quality.
Thanks, Sean, for giving us Sam. :)

Book Spoilers:

"'But if you want to be introduced to our chief investigator, I can produce him.'
'Where is he?' said Frodo, looking round, as if he expected a masked and sinister figure to come out of a cupboard.
'Step forward, Sam!' said Merry; and Sam stood up with a face scarlet up to the ears. 'Here's our collector of information! And he collected a lot, I can tell you, before he was finally caught. After which, I may say, he seemed to regard himself as on parole, and dried up.'
'Sam!' cried Frodo, feeling that amazement could go no further, and quite unable to decided whether he felt angry, amused, relieved, or merely foolish.
'Yes, sir!' said Sam. 'Begging your pardon, sir! But I meant no wrong to you, Mr. Frodo, nor to Mr. Gandalf for that matter. He has some sense, mind you; and when you said go alone, he said no! take someone as you can trust.'
'But it does not seem that I can trust anyone,' said Frodo.
Sam looked at him unhappily."

"Won't somebody give us a song, while the sun is high?' said Merry, when they had finished. "We haven't had a song or a tale for days.'
'Not since Weathertop,' said Frodo. The others looked at him. 'Don't worry about me!' he added. 'I feel much better, but I don't think I could sing. Perhaps Sam could dig something out of his memory.'
'Come on, Sam!' said Merry. 'There's more stored in your head than you let on about.'
'I don't know about that,' said Sam, 'But how would this suit? It ain't what I call proper poetry, if you understand me: just a bit of nonsense. But these old images here brought it to my mind.' Standing up, with his hands behind his back, as if he was a school, he began to sing to an old tune.

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;
For many a year he had gnawed it near,
For meat was hard to come by.
Done by! Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,
And meat was hard to come by...

'Well, that's a warning to us all!' laughed Merry. 'It is as well you used a stick, and not your hand, Strider!'
'Where did you come by that, Sam!' asked Pippin. 'I've never heard those words before.'
Sam muttered something inaudible. 'It's out of his own head, of course,' said Frodo. 'I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on his journey. First he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by become a wizard--or a warrior!'
'I hope not,' said Sam. 'I don't want to be neither!'

"'But you can't leave poor old Bill behind in this forsaken place, Mr. Gandalf!' cried Sam, angry and distressed. 'I won't have it, and that's flat. After he has come so far and all!'
'I am sorry, Sam,' said the wizard. 'But when the Door opens I do not think you will be able to drag your Bill inside, into the long dark of Moria. You will have to choose between Bill and your master.'
'He'd follow Mr. Frodo into a dragon's den, if I led him,' protested Sam. 'It'd be nothing short of murder to turn him loose with all these wolves about.'
'It will be short of murder, I hope,' said Gandalf. He laid his hand on the pony's head, and spoke in a low voice. 'Go with words of guard and guiding on you,' he said. 'You are a wise beast, and have learned much in Rivendell. Make your way to places where you can find grass, and so come in time to Elrond's house, or wherever you wish to go.
'There Sam! He will have quite as much chance of escaping wolves and getting home as we have.'
Sam stood sullenly by the pony and returned no answer. Bill, seeming to understand well what was going on, nuzzled up to him, putting his nose to Sam's ear. Sam burst into tears, and fumbled with the straps, unlading all the pony's packs and throwing them on the ground...."

"Frodo felt something seize him by the ankle, and he fell with a cry. Bill the pony gave a wild neigh of fear, and turned tail and dashed away along the lakeside into the darkness. Sam leaped after him, and then hearing Frodo's cry he ran back again, weeping and cursing. The others swung round and saw the waters of the lake seething, as if a host of snakes were swimming up from the southern end.
Out from the water a long sinuous tentacle had crawled; it was pale-green and luminous and wet. Its fingered end had hold of Frodo's foot, and was dragging him into the water. Sam on his knees was now slashing at it with a knife.
The arm let go of Frodo, and Sam pulled him away, crying out for help. Twenty other arms came rippling out. The dark water boiled, and there was a hideous stench."

"What food have we got left?'
'Only those, what d'you call 'em, lembas, Mr. Frodo. A fair supply. But they are better than naught, by a long bite. I never thought, though, when I first set tooth in them, that I should ever come to wish for a change. But I do now: a bit of plain bread, and a mug--aye, half a mug--of beer would go down proper. I've lugged my cooking-gear all the way from the last camp, and what use has it been? Naught to make a fire with, for a start; and naught to cook not even grass!'"

"Even as Sam himself crouched, looking at her, seeing his death in her eyes, a thought came to him, as if some remote voice had spoken, and he fumbled in his breast with his left hand, and found what he sought: cold and hard and solid it seemed to his touch in a phantom world of horror, the Phial of Galadriel.
'Galadriel!' he said faintly, and then he heard voices far off but clear: the crying of the Elves as they walked under the stars in the beloved shadows of the Shire, and the music of the Elves as it came through his sleep in the hall of Fire in the house of Elrond.
Gilthoniel A Elbereth!
And then his tongue was loosed and his voice cried in a language which he did not know:
A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-diriel,

le nallan si di'nguruthos!

A tiro nin, Fanuilos!

And with that he staggered to his feet and was Samwise the hobbit, Hamfast's son, again.
'Now come, you filth!' he cried. 'You've hurt my master, you brute, and you'll pay for it. We're going on; but we'll settle with you first. Come on, and taste it again!'"

"At that moment there was a knock on the door, and Sam came in. He ran to Frodo and took the left hand, awkwardly and shyly. He stroked it gently and then he blushed and turned hastily away.
'Hullo, Sam!' said Frodo.
'It's warm!' said Sam. 'Meaning your hand, Mr. Frodo. It has felt so cold through the long nights. But glory and trumpets!' he cried, turning round again with shining eyes and dancing on the floor. 'It's fine to see you up and yourself again, sir! Gandalf asked me to come and see if you were ready to come down, and I thought he was joking.'"

"Of all the confounded nuisances you are the worst, Sam!' he said.
'Oh, Mr. Frodo, that's hard!' said Sam shivering. 'That's hard, trying to go without me and all. If I hadn't a guessed right, where would you be now?'
'Safely on my way.'
'Safely!' said Sam. 'All alone and without me to help ou? I couldn't have a borne it, it'd have been the death of me.'
'It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam,' said Frodo, 'and I could not have borne that.'
'Not as certain as being left behind,' said Sam.
'But I am going to Mordor.'
'I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I'm coming with you.'"

"Another bed was set beside him for his servant. Sam hesitated for a moment, then bowing very low: 'Good night, Captain, my lord,' he said. 'You took the chance, sir.'
'Did I so?' said Faramir.
'Yes sir, and showed your quality: the very highest.'
Faramir smiled. 'A pert servant, master Samwise. But nay: the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards. Yet there was naught in this to praise. I had no lure or desire to do other than I have done.'
'Ah well, sir,' said Sam, 'you said my master had an elvish air; and that was good and true. But I can say this: you have an air too, sir, that reminds me of, of--well, Gandalf, of wizards.'"

"'Master, dear master!' said Sam, and through a long silence waited, listening in vain.
Then as quickly as he could he cut away the binding cords and laid is head upon Frodo's breast, and to his mouth, but no stir of life could he find, nor feel the faintest flutter of the heart. Often he chafed his master's hands and feet, and touched his brow, but all were cold.
'Frodo, Mr. Frodo!' he called. 'Don't leave me here alone! It's your Sam calling. Don't go where I can't follow! Wake up, Mr. Frodo! O wake up, Frodo, me dear, me dear. Wake up!'
Then anger surged over him, and he ran about his master's body in a rage, stabbing the air, and smiting the stones, and shouting challenges. Presently he came back, and bending looked at Frodo's face, pale beneath him in the dusk. And suddenly he saw that what was in the picture that was revealed to him in the mirror of Galadriel in Lorien: Frodo with a pale face lying fast asleep under a great dark cliff... ...And then black despair came down on him, and Sam bowed to the ground, and drew his grey hood over his head, and night came into his heart, and he knew no more."

"'What did you blush for, Sam?' said Pippin. 'You soon broke down. Anyone would have thought you had a guilty conscience. I hope it was nothing worse than a wicked plot to steal one of my blankets.'
'I never thought no such thing,' answered Sam, in no mood for jest. 'If you want to know, I felt as if I hadn't got nothing on, and I didn't like it. She seemed to be looking inside me and asking me what I would do if she gave me the chance of flying back home to the Shire to a nice little hole with--with a bit of garden of my own.'"

"'What do you think of Elves now, Sam?' he said. 'I asked you the same question once before--it seems a very long while ago; but you have seen more of them since then.'
'I have indeed!' said Sam. 'And I reckon there's Elves and Elves. They're all elvish enough, but they're not all the same. Now these folk aren't wanders or homeless, and seem a bit nearer to the likes of us: they seem to belong here, more even than Hobbits do in the Shire. Whether they've made the land, or the land's made them, it's hard to say, if you take my meaning. It's wonderfully quiet here. Nothing seems to be going on, and nobody seems to want it to. If there's any magic about, it's right down deep, where I can't lay my hands on it, in a manner of speaking.'
'You can see and feel it everywhere,' said Frodo.
'Well,' said Sam, 'you can't see nobody working it. No fireworks like poor old Gandalf used to show. I wonder we don't see nothing of the Lord and Lady in all these days. I fancy now that she could do some wonderful things, if she had a mind. I'd dearly love to see some Elf-magic, Mr. Frodo!'"

"Sam sat on the ground and put his head in his hands. 'I wish I had never come here, and I don't want to see no more magic,' he said and fell silent. After a moment he spoke again thickly, as if struggling with tears. 'No, I'll go home by the long road with Mr. Frodo, or not at all,' he said. 'But I hope I do get back some day. If what I've seen turns out true, somebody's going to catch it hot!'"

"Sam sat propped against the stone, his head dropping sideways and his breathing heavy. In his lap lay Frodo's head, drowned deep in sleep; upon his white forehead lay one of Sam's brown hands, and the other lay softly upon his mater's breast. Peace was in both their faces."

"'Well, I call that neat as neat,' said Sam. 'If this nice friendliness would spread about in Mordor, half our trouble would be over...'"

"His voice sounded thin and quavering in the cold dark tower: the voice of a forlorn and weary hobbit that no listening orc could possibly mistake for the clear song of an Elven-lord. He murmured old childish tunes out of the Shire, and snatches of Mr. Bilbo's rhymes that came into his mind like fleeting glimpses of the country of his home... ...and then he stopped short. He thought that he had heard a faint voice answering him."

...Sam ran to the figure huddled on the floor. It was Frodo. He was naked, lying as if in a swoon on a heap of filthy rags: his arm was flung up, shielding his head, and across his side there ran an ugly whip-weal.
'Frodo! Mr. Frodo, my dear!' cried Sam, tears almost blinding him. 'It's Sam, I've come!' He half lifted his master and hugged him to his breast. Frodo opened his eyes. 'Am I still dreaming?' he muttered. 'But the other dreams were horrible.'
'You're not dreaming at all, Master,' said Sam. 'It's real. It's me. I've come.'
'I can hardly believe it,' said Frodo, clutching him. 'There was an orc with a whip, and then it turns into Sam! Than I wasn't dreaming after all when I heard that singing down below, and I tried to answer? Was it you?'
'It was indeed, Mr. Frodo. I'd given up hope, almost. I couldn't find you.'
'Well, you have now, Sam, dear Sam,' said Frodo, and he lay back in Sam's gentle arms, closing his eyes, like a child at rest when night-fears are driven away by some loved voice or hand. Sam felt that he could sit like that in endless happiness..."

"But the bitter truth came home to him at last: at best their provision would take them to their goal; and when the task was done, there they would come to an end, alone, houseless, foodless in the midst of a terrible desert. There could be no return. 'So that was the job I felt I had to do when I started,' thought Sam: 'to help Mr. Frodo to the last step and then die with him? Well, if that is the job then I must do it... ...I can't think somehow that Gandalf would have sent Mr. Frodo on this errand, if there hadn't a' been any hope of his ever coming back at all. Things all went wrong when he went down in Moria. I wish he hadn't. He would have done something.'
But even if hope died in Sam, or seemed to die, it was turned to a new strength. Sam's plain hobbit-face grew stern, almost grim, as the will hardened in him, and he felt through all his limbs a thrill, as if he was turning into some creature of stone and steel that neither despair nor weariness nor endless barren miles could subdue."

"Sam looked at him and wept in his heart, but no tears came to his dry and stinging eyes. 'I said I'd carry him, if it broke my back,' he muttered, 'and I will!'
'Come, Mr. Frodo!' he cried. 'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get! Come on, Mr. Frodo dear! Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he'll go.'
As Frodo clung upon his back, arms loosely about his neck, legs clasped firmly under is arms, Sam staggered to his feet; and then to his amazement he felt the burden light. He had feared that he would have barely strength to lift his master alone, and beyond that he had expected to share in the dreadful dragging weight of the accursed Ring. But it was not so. Whether because Frodo was so worn by his long pains, wound of knife, and venomous sting, and sorrow, fear and homeless wandering, or because some gift of final strength was given to him, Sam lifted Frodo with no more difficulty than if he were carrying a hobbit-child pig-a-back in some romp on the lawns or hayfields of the Shire. He took a deep breath and started off."

"They stood now; and Sam still holding his master's hand caressed it. He signed. 'What a tale we have been in, Mr. Frodo, haven't we?' he said. 'I wish I could hear it told! Do you think they'll say: "Now comes the story of Nine-fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom?" And then everyone will hush, like we did, when in Rivendell they told us the tale of Beren One-hand and the Great Jewel. I wish I could hear it! And I wonder how it will go on after our part.'
But even while he spoke so, to keep fear away until the very last, his eyes still strayed north, north into the eye of the wind, to where the sky far off was clear... "
"In the morning Sam and Frodo rose again in hope and peace; and they spent many days in Ithilien... ...The hobbits wandered here and there visiting again the places that they had passed before; and Sam hoped always in some shadow of the woods or secret glade to catch, maybe, a glimpse of the great Oliphaunt. And when he learned that at the siege of Gondor there had been a great number of these beasts but that they were all destroyed, he thought it a sad loss.
'Well, one can't be everywhere at once, I suppose,' he said. 'But I missed a lot, seemingly.'

"...to Sam's final and complete satisfaction and pure joy, a minstrel of Gondor stood forth, and knelt, and begged leave to sing...
'...I will sing to you of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom.' And when Sam heard that he laughed aloud for shear delight, and he stood up and cried: 'O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!' And then he wept. And all the host laughed and wept..."

"'I wish I had taken Elrond's advice,' muttered Pippin to Sam. 'I am no good after all. There is not enough of the breed of Bandobras the Bullroarer in me: these howls freeze my blood. I don't ever remember feeling so wretched.'
'My heart's right down in my toes, Mr. Pippin,' said Sam. 'But we aren't eten yet, and there are some stout folk here with us. Whatever may be in store for old Gandalf, I'll wager it isn't a wolf's belly.'"

"The trees were the worst loss and damage, for at Sharkey's bidding they had been cut down recklessly far and wide over the Shire; and Sam grieved over this more than anything else. For one thing, this hurt would take long to heal, and only his great-grandchildren, he thought, would see the Shire as it ought to be."

"But to Sam, the evening deepened to darkness as he stood at the Haven; and as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the waters that was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night, hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart."

'Morning, my little friends!' he said to the others. 'I suppose you know who you've taken up with? That's Stick-at-nought Strider, that is! Though I've heard other names not so pretty. Watch out tonight! And you, Sammie, don't go ill-treating my poor old pony! Pah!' He spat again.
Sam turned quickly. 'And you, Ferny,' he said, 'put your ugly face out of sight, or it will get hurt.' With a sudden flick, quick as lightning, an apple left his hand and hit Bill square on the nose. He ducked too late, and curses came from behind the hedge. 'Waste of a good apple,' said Sam regretfully, and strode on."