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Lord of the Rings: Gollum Never Framed Sam!

Everyone remembers that scene where Gollum steals what little Lembas Bread the Hobbits have left and crumples it over the cliff while Sam & Frodo are fast asleep. It's a lie!

By Mackenzie TittlePublished 10 months ago 4 min read

Everyone remembers that scene where Gollum steals what little Lembas Bread the Hobbits have left and crumples it over the cliff while Sam & Frodo are fast asleep. Then, to make matters worse, he takes a few crumbs and plants them on Sam, framing him for eating the last of the food. What treachery! Our blood was boiling — poor Samwise!

It was all made up… Peter Jackson apparently decided that we needed to love Sam even more than we already did (as if that were possible). Unfortunately, rewriting this scene has some pretty important impacts on the narrative…

1. Smeagol never fully submitted to Gollum.

Sure, Gollum intentionally brought the Hobbits to Shelob’s Lair with the hope that Shelob would eat them both and Gollum would get back his Precious. But — Smeagol fought to talk Gollum out of this plan all the way up to the moment of decision.

What happens in the book when Sam falls asleep on guard, the “night” before they enter Shelob’s Lair?

In The Two Towers book we get this really heartwarming scene, Frodo falls asleep on Sam, while they share this moment of genuine and pure friendship. Sam falls asleep holding his master and Smeagol returns from his scouting to find the two hobbits asleep on the mountainside. So, what does Smeagol do?

He doesn’t steal their food or frame Sam for anything — he looks longingly at the two friends. He remembers a distant time, long ago, when he had a friendship like theirs. He doesn’t envy them — he just misses his old life. Smeagol reaches out to pet Frodo — to share in that moment of pure brotherly love.

Unfortunately, Sam wakes up — fears the worst of Gollum and snaps at him. It seems to be kind of the final straw in the battle between Gollum & Smeagol, even though Sam apologizes to Smeagol shortly thereafter.

Still — it’s an important moment between both Sam & Frodo, but also a final glimpse into the light that still lives in Smeagol — even so close to the end.

2. Frodo Never Sends Sam Away.

Wait… so that moment where we all hated Frodo and wondered how he could do something so cold-hearted and foolish… Yep, it’s a lie. Frodo’s love for Sam was deep and pure — in fact it may be the one thing that keeps the Ring from taking over his mind. Frodo consistently affirms Sam, insisting that he is smarter than he thinks, braver than he gives himself credit for — Frodo knows that Sam is a Hero. Multiple times, Frodo insists that he “never would have made it more than a few steps without Sam.” Their friendship is unblemished — and it is mutual, from beginning to end.

3. Sam Never Considers Returning to the Shire without Frodo. When Frodo sends Sam away in the movies, we get this scene with Sam where he is forced to ask — Well what now? For Sam, there was never any debate. His place was at Frodo’s side. In fact, even after Sam thought that Shelob killed Frodo — he still insisted on staying by Frodo’s side. If it were only a question of his heart, Sam would have sat by Frodo’s body until he starved to death. He gets up, takes the Ring & Sting and finally forces himself onward — because he knows that’s what Frodo would have wanted, and Sam wants Frodo’s death to not be meaningless. However, Sam makes it clear in the books that he wants nothing more than to stay by Frodo’s side — both in life and in death.

What does Sam do when he finds out that Frodo is still alive? Common sense would say — don’t march into a tower full of orcs & goblins, just go destroy the ring! The temptation of the Ring promised Sam that he could challenge Sauron, defeat the Dark Lord & remodel Mordor into a beautiful Kingdom of Gardens. But what does Sam do? He listens to his heart. And his heart says — Go find Master Frodo, no matter the cost — your place is by his side.

Nothing in all of Middle-Earth could separate Sam from Frodo. Nothing.

4. They Still Had Food Left.

Alright, this point may seem minor but I couldn’t not point it out. After Sam rescues Frodo from the Tower of Cirith Ungol, he returns the Ring to him, fetches him some Orc clothing & armor AND he gives Frodo some food — Lembas Bread to be specific. So, if you were wondering how they made it from the borders of Mordor to Mount Doom, without a bite to eat… well, they didn’t. They still had food.

Alright, that’s all for today folks. I’ll be debunking another Lord of the Rings Movies vs. Books discrepancy tomorrow. In the meantime, please check out my previous story if you heaven’t yet: Pippin was no Fool!


About the Creator

Mackenzie Tittle - Creator & Writer

I write about Chess, Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, Gloomhaven & Soccer.

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