Skip to comments.Lord of the Rings - help needed (vanity)
Posted on 06/24/2005 7:13:06 AM PDT by hispanichoosier
I need help with LOTR. Two friends and I were discussing the books and movies last weekend. Friend 1 observed that the relationship between Frodo and Sam (in the movies) had homosexual overtones. Friend 2 retorted that the relationship is based on the master/servant relationship of old England and that Friend 1 was looking at it through American eyes, where rugged individualism is more prized. I--caught in the middle--had to admit that I thought that Sean Astin overplayed Sam at times but was great overall.
So, was Friend 1 right about the gay overtones, or was Friend 2's explanation correct? I'm rather at a loss over the whole debacle.
What's a Hoosier?.......
Isn't it a kind of vacuum cleaner??
None of the above.. they were friends (you could correctly say drinking buddies..) What people should take from this is Sam's sense of loyality to his friends, even willing to lay down his life for them..
Yes, I think that Sean Astin is gay.
The relationship between Sam and Frodo was a take on the relationship between a WWII British officer and his assistant (the title of which escapes me at the moment).
Friend 1 has repressed homosexual tendencies. (/sarc)
The whole of the Rings reflects an order within and without the universe. Obedience and hope, not disobedience and despair are central to the Rings. I have a poor understanding of the whole and there are those who have much more understanding of theology and literature who have discussed it.
Look on the some of the Ring sites.
Viewing the relationship on some sexual level reflects poorly on those critical thinking skills IMHO.
Friend #2 is on the mark. Tolkien is probably rolling in his grave with the way today's society has twisted the beautiful relationship between Sam and Frodo the way Friend #1 has.
Dwarves of San Francisco.
Freidn 1 is a nut. Absolutely a nut. It's not there.
The relationship between Sam and Frodo has its base in the master/servant relationship but there's more to it than that. Tolkien had a very high regard for male friendship.
ecurbh, I don't know if this should even get a ring ping but we could come dump on this poor guy.
WWI I think, but you are correct. It was not about homosexuality at all.
Why do all friendly male relationships have to be about homosexuality?
Friend 2 was sort of right. Sam was given the task to protect Frodo and having accepted that task and being an honorable man, took that task very seriously indeed. His love was the brotherly love of warriors.
"Friend 1 observed that the relationship between Frodo and Sam (in the movies) had homosexual overtones. "
Stupid, ignorant POV that completely ignores the fact that Sam marries a big-boobed Hobbit Hottie at the end of the movie trilogy.
Yeah, his lovely wife is a particularly beautiful transvestite!
Friend 1 clearly has issues. Tolkien was a devout Catholic writing what he felt to be an archetypal human story in the context of Germanic folklore. It ain't about a homosexual relationship.
You're right - thanks. Tolkien lost most of his close friends in the war(s) and I think there are many tributes to them in his works.
Rosie Cotton was a cute Hobbit transvestite, don't you know?
Their relatiuonship is actually based on British Officers and their "Bat-Men" during WWI. Tolkien who had served in the war had seen this first hand. If you watch the special features disc one on the extended version of "Return of the King" the very first documentary explains quite well. At least I think it's "Return of the King".
There is no gay overtones, if there are any, it is only the figment of people's twisted imagination. Tolkien's prose was very British, and they talked to each other this way. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, who adapted the novels into the screenplay, though wanting to capture Tolkiens prose, were also very aware of the way audience may interpret it. For the movies, they actually toned it down quite a bit.
Part of what is wonderful about the story is how the servant was absolutely necessary in order for the Ring to be destroyed, and (in the book anyway) for the Shire to be regrown. There can be no doubt that Christian notions such as "the first will be last and the last will be first" are embodied in Sam.
Having survived through
nine billion threads about it,
I have no desire
to stir up this pot
and relive the debacle.
Search out the old threads!
HUMMMM, your friends seem to see the world as either homosexual or straight. Maybe they should EXPAND their thinking a little.
Friend 2 is correct. The book is actually more cringe-inducing than the movie in its portrayal of the Frodo/Sam relationship, in American (or at least my)eyes. The whole "dear master" thing gets hard to take at times. But there is absolutely nothing homo-erotic about it.
The other two hobbits also do not treat Sam as an equal in the first part of the book. They talk over and around him without batting an eye.
It is relevant that Frodo, Merry and Pippin are all from the very top rung of hobbit society.
OTOH, by the end of the book it is obvious that Sam and Frodo have transcended their master-servant relationship and that Sam is fully accepted as an equal by all three hobbits. In the prologue we find that Sam and his family, as a result of his deeds, have themselves become hobbit aristocracy.
It's a sad commentary that our culture has become so feminized that an example of strong male friendship has come to be suspected of being a homosexual relationship.
Even Bert and Ernie aren't exempt! LOL!
In the book, there is a strong development of a father-son relationship, but that was distorted, even reversed, in the films because of the director's decision to depict Frodo as a youth. (Don't get me started.)
Why don't you quit trolling on posts that are clearly labeled "vanity?"
"Why do all friendly male relationships have to be about homosexuality?"
It's generally only repressed homos themselves who have this opinion. I'd say that's probably the case here as well.
You kind of ignore Rosie.
It might be helpful if you read Shippey's biography of JRRT, or some other biographies. Most of JRRT's chums died in the muck of trenches in WWI Europe. It was a miracle that JRRT survived it--but he did, just barely. I imagine the memory of clinging to dying comrades figures greatly in LOTR.
It says something sad about our modern culture--that it is so sex-crazed and effete-- that so many have sought to impose this interp upon Frodo and Sam.
I think Friend 1 is probably a closet gay. They are always looking for stuff like this to validate their lifestyle.
Anyone wishing to be added to or removed from the Ring-Ping list, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Some people will see gay overtones in nearly everything. I dont know if they are afraid they might be closets queens, or they are just terrified of anything that may be even slightly homosexual related.
Yep. There are. When I was stationed in the UK (RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire) I read quite a lot on tolkien in my weekend jaunts to Oxford ( I lived 10 miles from Oxford proper).
The examples for the imagery tolkein used in the Hobbit and LOTR is evident when strolling through Oxfordshire. Really, Really nice country side.
LOL! That pic is a HOOT!
But, the reality is that it's a culture that simply cannot understand that the bonds of male friendship can be strong without sexual overtones. Happens in the military all the time. Those bonds are deep. Men would die for their brothers. But they wouldn't sleep with them.
The accusation is centuries old. The same folks who would see Sam and Frodo as gay, would say the same thing about David and Jonathan in the Bible.
What you saw in Sam and Frodo was loyalty and love. Not lust.
Upper Heyford? Hey - you didn't work on the F-111's by chance did you? MHAFB ID vet here ;)
Frodo is the kind master who releases his servant from his service at the end of the trilogy.
Sam is the loyal servant who faithfully tends to his, if you will, employer through all his trials.
Friend 1 has been drinking Mordor water.
Bingo. As if two guys can't hang out together - even love one another - without having sexual feelings for one another. There's more to love than sexuality, but seems like society would like us to forget that.
In the books, Sam's loyalty to Frodo begins as that of a servant to a master. Not servile, but proud to be of service. It also develops into friendship and love, in the Aristotelian or Ciceronian sense--the love of one virtuous person for another, out of admiration for their virtue. In the end, Sam ceases to be a servant, marries Rose, and sets up his own family, becoming mayor and rising above his "servant" status.
The movie is not, in my opinion, slanted toward homosexuality. But the great failure of the entire sequence of movies is to understand what it means to be a servant, a master, or a king. There is nothing demeaning about such "service." Christians serve God. Warriors serve their king.
Aragorn is a great king in disguise, but he never fully emerges in that role in the movie. Faramir is a true knightly leader, but in the movie he is virtually indistinguishable from his brother, Boromir.
In the book, Theoden has been persuaded by Grima Wormtongue that he is no longer up to the job of being a king. When Gandalf speaks to him, he reminds him of his duty, and Theoden rises out of his moral sleep into greatness again. Once more, the movie hardly understand this.
The great deficit is that the makers of the movie have some understanding of concepts like love and duty, but they can't put them in the proper aristocratic terms. Aristocracy can be snobbish and effete, but it can also be great and noble. Tolkien had a tremendous admiration for true aristocracy: kings, knights, great ladies. There is no way to translate that into modernist terms. If you can't understand that loyal service to a great leader is noble and good, then you can't understand the basics on which Tolkien builds his tales.
Tolkien was a medievalist. Much of this can be found in the idea of the medieval war band or comitatus. Understanding the nature of the comitatus, as reflected in Anglo Saxon poetry, is a good place to start.
Anytime you see people project contemporary political and cultural matters onto works of the past, you have to ask yourself what did the writer/artist really intend. Tell them that Tolkien was a staunch traditionalist Catholic and that there is zero chance of homosexual undertones. The characters are simple very good friends trying to save the world. In terms of mythological archetypes, Frodo is the hero and Sam is the helper.
Gay overtones is a load of crap - perverts have completely ruined normal human relationships where friendship and love do not have to involve sexual activity.
Now, if you look at someone/thing then you must want to copulate with them/it right then and there.
Sam worked for Frodo but they also had a friendship - a very important friendship that allowed the ring to meet it's appropriate destruction - a friendship that was more valuable then having something to rub your organs on.
We would have a better country if people could develop that kind of friendship without a misguided miniscule segment of society trying to ram sexual activity into it.
Of course, if all they think they are is an animal, then love doesn't exist anyway.
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