The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Heroic Journey of Samwise Gamgee College

J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings is one of the bestselling books of all time and has captured the imaginations of readers for decades. The story became even more popular when in 2001 director Peter Jackson released his highly successful film trilogy adaptation. The movies quickly became some of the top grossing of all time and were critically acclaimed for their masterful transition from book to screen. Part of the major attraction to the story is Tolkien’s ability to create exciting and complex characters along with action-packed scenes and a knack for subtly illuminating truths of the human condition. It can be argued that there are a number of heroes within the story, including Frodo, Aragon, and Gandalf as they all contribute to defeating the evil forces and destroying the ring. While characters like Aragon and Frodo seem like the more obvious choice if you had to single out one key heroic figure, some viewers would argue that the story’s hero could be Samwise Gamgee. While at first Sam does not appear to exactly fit the traditional model of a hero, many would be surprised to find that several aspects of Sam’s story fit nicely within Joseph Campbell’s famous hero journey paradigm found in his book,...

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