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Only after meeting Enkidu and becoming his friend does Gilgamesh transform into a hero worthy of memory. This transformative effect is also exacted on Enkidu, who Gilgamesh helps move beyond his fears. The platonic love the two have for each other helps Gilgamesh become a better leader to his people by allowing him to better understand and identify with them. When considered in tandem with the theme of death in the poem, love and friendship can be viewed not only as a part of life, but as a necessary component to give existence meaning.